WALES U21 international striker Ryan Doble could earn himself a deal to stay at Rodney Parade after County agreed to release Rhys Griffiths.

The Argus can exclusively reveal that Griffiths, one of the greatest goalscorers to grace the Welsh Premier League, agreed to end his stay in Newport after meeting with manager Justin Edinburgh yesterday.

Edinburgh signed Griffiths on Valentine’s Day and the firefighter helped the Exiles to rise from the Ashes as they clinched promotion to League Two at Wembley.

However, former Spurs man Edinburgh never appeared head-over-heels with the former Plymouth man and used him sparingly.

Griffiths did, however, play enough to trigger a clause that meant he was offered a contract for the coming season.

He accepted the terms and intended to play professionally for one more season before returning to the Fire Service.

The Exiles also have Aaron O’Connor, Conor Washing-ton, Christian Jolley, Danny Crow and Chris Zebroski competing to play in attack and Griffiths was informed he was surplus to requirements.

However, the release of Griffiths from the wage bill could present an opportunity for Wales U21 man Doble.

The Blaenavon boy was formerly with Southampton and has impressed in training so far.

Along with former Arsenal reserve Jamie Edge, he now stands an increased chance of being offered a permanent deal to remain on Parade.

“Rhys has left the club by mutual agreement, we discussed it and there are no hard feelings on either side,” Edinburgh said.

“Rhys was a great presence for us and is a terrific professional.”

Both Doble and Edge will play 45 minutes tonight when the Exiles travel to Swindon Supermarine for their first pre-season encounter.

Boss Edinburgh is ready to use every fit member of his first team squad but will restrict them all to a half each. That means a first chance for Exiles fans to see new signings Zebroski, Adam Chapman, Harry Worley and Jamie Stephens, as well as the stars of their Wembley triumph over Wrexham.

Only striker Aaron O’Connor and Max Porter (both groin) won’t feature and Edinburgh is looking forward to the contest.

“It’ll be great for the players to blow some of the cobwebs away, they’ve worked very hard in the past nine days and I’m sure they are looking forward to seeing a ball,” Edinburgh explained.

“It’s early days in pre-season, but we look forward to seeing the new signings an