MIKE Flynn has pledged to engage with the people and business of Newport after moving to an 'exciting and challenging' role with the Exiles.

The former midfielder, who returned to the club as a coach under John Sheridan last year before being retained by current boss Warren Feeney, has accepted a job as football and business development director with County.

The key aspects for Flynn will be forging closer links with the city's business community and helping the Exiles towards their ambition of gaining category three status for the academy.

"It's an exciting and challenging job," said the 35-year-old, who is doing his UEFA Pro Licence.

"I have always been willing to help this club in any way I can; it's bigger than any one individual and is about the people who have been here through thick and thin.

"Newport County have come a long way in recent years and we've got a fantastic opportunity as a professional League Two club.

"The board understands that we need local business people involved, just like the Swansea model, and to build relationships with the people of Newport.

"I want to try and bring in some new investment so that we can progress the club in the long term off the field as well as on it.

"It's a different role for me but I'm a people person who can sit, listen and get across the benefits of getting involved with the club.

"That's something I am excited about, it's not going to be easy but I am confident we can achieve it."

Flynn played a key role in the development of Manchester United's Regan Poole and Wolves' Aaron Collins when working as player/academy coach.

And the former Wigan, Gillingham, Huddersfield and Bradford City man is passionate about ensuring more future starlets come through the ranks at Rodney Parade.

Flynn said: "Getting category three status for the academy is massively important and that will be one of my key tasks moving forward.

"To move to category three we need more investment because higher standards of coaches and more staff comes with extra cost.

"But when you achieve that status it stops young players being taken by other clubs before they sign scholarships, which is key because we have shown what can be done by producing the likes of Regan Poole and Aaron Collins."