NEWPORT County AFC begin life as a Football League club today with the players returning to training, but they’ll soon be boosted to the tune of three, the Argus has learned.

The Exiles have already added three fresh faces to their ranks in midfielder Adam Chapman, striker Chris Zebroski and defender Harry Worley and will now look to make that half a dozen as plans are finalised for the coming season.

Manager Justin Edinburgh plans to add a utility defender, back-up goalkeeper and a further midfielder as Newport prepare for life in the Football League for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.

The squad meet this morning at their Cardiff University training base and will now begin the long and hard slog associated with this portion of the season.

Edinburgh has returned from a family holiday and is raring to go, admitting this summer has been a relative breeze for him.

“Compared to last summer when I changed the whole squad it’s been an absolute doddle,” he said.

“I feel refreshed and recharged and hope my players feel the same way.

“We are almost there in terms of shaping the squad already and we are just after some key finishing touches now.

“We are talking with a defender and we’d hope to have that done by the weekend, but that’s not black and white because there are other clubs interested in the boy.

“But that’s one we are hopeful on, I’ll be speaking with him today and hopefully we can come to an agreement.

“We also think maybe another player for midfield, but I am not certain yet what we’ll do there, whether the budget stretches to us getting another one in or whether we go down the loan route.

“That awaits to be seen, but it’s a position we do feel we need one more in.

“Other than that I’m looking for a goalkeeper to provide competition to Lenny Pidgeley.

“We have four goalkeepers coming in and throughout pre-season we will monitor it and look to get one signed up for the season.”

The Exiles have promoted youngsters Kyle Patten and Josh Jones who will spend all of pre-season with the seniors and also have two outfield trialists at the club.

The midfielder is Jamie Edge, a former Arsenal signing who has been playing most recently with the Nike Academy after spells with West Brom and Cheltenham.

However, County also expressed interest in a potential loan deal for Alex Gilbey, so impressive in the run-in last term.

He’s signed a deal to stay on at parent club Colchester United, but Edinburgh is keeping tabs on him incase the Essex outfit decide to loan him out again.

The Exiles are also running the rule over Wales under-21 international striker Ryan Doble.

The ex-Southampton player is a local boy, born in Blaenavon, and was with the Saints since childhood, indeed, he was formerly a regular fixture in the Argus’ junior sport section.

The 22-year-old has also been on loan at Bournemouth and spent last season with Shrewsbury Town.

Doble has been on the County radar for sometime since being recommended to the club by Wales assistant manager John Hartson, tho-ugh whether there is space to accommodate him in the squad remains to be seen ahead of the new campaign.