PAUL Bignot has returned to Newport County AFC on a one-year deal after impressing while on trial with the Exiles in pre-season.

The 30-year-old was a shock inclusion in the County squad for their first friendly of the summer at Caldicot and has gone on to feature in the encounters against KS Polkowice, FC Hradec Kralove, Coventry and Weston-super-Mare.

After the last of those boss Warren Feeney stated his desire to find room in his budget to sign the experienced defender along with striker Marlon Jackson.

The latter put pen to paper on a one-year deal on Thursday and Bignot has now joined him in the County ranks.

"I'm delighted that everything is signed and I'm very proud to be back here playing for Newport County AFC," he said.

"The club has grown a huge amount since I was here last and I'm happy that everything was sorted out ahead of the start of the season.

"I'm looking forward to being part of a successful squad and I have already seen how hard-working the players are here and I can't wait to get started."

The West Midlander played 90 minutes against Weston and showed his versatility by playing at right-back in the first half and as one of three centre-backs after the break.

Bignot was a roaring success in his first spell at County and, after going on trial with Leicester, he earned a big-money move to Blackpool, who were then in the Championship.

After heading to Spytty Park from Kidderminster in 2008, initially on loan, he became one of the first names on Dean Holdsworth’s teamsheet and helped the club romp to the Conference South title in 2010.

Bignot was Argus readers’ Exile of the Year the following season in the Conference National and also won the honours voted for by both players and supporters at the official club awards.

His exploits saw him represent England C in 2011, helping them to a 1-0 win against a Belgium Under-23s side featuring Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

He went on to have spells with Plymouth, Grimsby, Keflavik in Iceland’s Premier League, and last season helped Solihull Moors, managed by his brother, former QPR defender Marcus, win the National League North title.

Meanwhile, information lodged with Companies House has revealed that Jon Bowkett has resigned from the Supporters Trust board.

Bowkett, who raised concerns over the running of the club at the AGM earlier this month, was only elected to the new board some two weeks ago.