SINCE being named as the Football Association of Wales young player of the year ahead of Regan Poole, the whole of Welsh football seems to be tipping young Cardiff City midfielder Tommy O’Sullivan for greatness.

The 20-year old has joined Newport County on a one-month youth loan and in order to get the lowdown on the newest Exile, who has received praise from Wales boss Chris Coleman, we caught up with his older brother Sam, himself a former Newport County man.

Sam played 152 times for the Exiles, scoring 17 goals, having come through the academy. He left the club to join Merthyr in 2008 but is looking forward to his family re-establishing links with the County.

“It’s great to see Tommy sign there, to be honest, when he went to Port Vale, I was absolutely gutted,” the older sibling explained.

“He was up there in digs, a little lonely and I couldn’t help but wish he went to Newport, because I thought it would be a great move for him and the club.

“I know Exeter were very keen as well.

“The problem was, in terms of helping it along, I didn’t know anyone at Newport to talk to. They’ve all left since I did!”

O’Sullivan opted to join Merthyr in 2008 after the sacking of then manager Peter Beadle but admits he’s only a few days away from being the second best O’Sullivan family member to pull on amber.

“Yeah, he’s better than me,” Sam admitted, not even through clenched teeth.

“He’s a player I expect can excite the County fans. He looks to play forward, get in the pocket behind the striker and I think County’s forwards will get a lot more chances with Tommy in the side.”

There is obvious pride from Sam in seeing his younger brother shine and he admits the whole family is exciting about the chance to return to Newport, albeit swapping Spytty Park for Rodney Parade.

“I think I’ve only been to about three games since I left the club, because I am still playing myself,” explained Sam, who now turns out for Goytre in the Welsh League alongside ‘Mr Newport County’ Nathan Davies and other ex-Exiles like Kris Leek.

“I went last season to watch a game with Tommy actually, because he’s big mates with (ex-loanee) David Tutonda,” he said.

“It’s going to be really nice to go back, I know my father is looking forward to it as well. The faces change on the pitch but not so much in the stands.”

O’Sullivan is now making a success of life away from football, as a gymnasium owner in Cardiff. He’s also a successful personal trainer with his own business,

However, he admits that he regrets leaving County when he did, having subsequently turned out for Carmarthen and Cinderford.

“When I left, the players had been in limbo for a few weeks after Beads (Peter Beadle) got sacked,” he said.

“I thought the grass was greener, but in reality, I made a mistake.

“I had no idea Dean Holdsworth would be the next manager, but I’d have stayed to play for him. He was an ex-teammate and I always got on well with Dean.”

Sam described coming through the academy and his rapport with supporters as his biggest highlight at the Exiles, but didn’t struggle to pick out a favourite moment.

“It has to be the winner at Weston,” he explained, referring to an injury time goal that gave Newport a 4-3 win at the seaside as they chased potential promotion.

“That was a great team to be a part of and at the time, the goal felt like it would be massive for us,” he said.

“We had a terrible schedule and the win kept us going, but Beads left me out of the next game. I couldn’t believe it. I was flying at the time.”

There are unlikely to be many promotion games for the Exiles this term, but County fans will no doubt look forward to seeing the latest O’Sullivan to strut his stuff for the amber army.