NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn insists that Tom Owen-Evans remains part of his plans but he has warned that the academy graduate needs to “kick on” during his loan spell with Truro City.

The 20-year-old midfielder has joined the National League South play-off hopefuls for the rest of the season.

Owen-Evans last appeared for County as a substitute in the New Year’s Day victory over Exeter City and has been unable to force his way into the match-day squad since recovering from a thigh injury.

“He does need games but what people don’t realise is that he was injured for three to four weeks so he’s had a bit of a stop-start season,” Flynn explained.

“He tried to get through the injury because he thought it was just a dead leg but it turned out to be a thigh strain.

“That didn’t help him because he’d just got back in and I thought he did quite well and then he missed four weeks.

“I just thought it was right for him to get him out to a team like Truro who are fighting at the right end of the table,” added the Exiles boss.

“It should give him a chance to get a succession of games under his belt before he comes back in the summer.”

Owen-Evans will still be training with County but the manager hopes regular games will aid the youngster’s development.

“He needs to kick on now,” said Flynn. “I’ve had good chats with Tom and I’m always here to help him.

“He seems to be taking the advice on board now – he’s a little bit bigger, a bit stronger and he’s got a little bit of that edge about him again, which I felt he lost at the beginning of the season.

“I’m hoping that he goes there and does really well because he’ll come back with his confidence sky high again.

“I think he needs to keep his consistency,” he added. “He needs to continue to work hard to build up his pace and his power because he’s still quite small.

“But he’s got fantastic feet and he’s a very talented footballer.

“He can play as a holding midfielder or as a 10 behind the front two and he’s got bags of energy.

“He just needs to channel that and be decisive in what runs he makes and when to put the ball through and when to have a shot.

“He played 12 games for us towards the end of last season and I thought he came of age then.

“I was really looking forward to him [kicking on] but it just didn’t happen for him at the start of the season and it’s been a bit stop-start since then.

“So I’ve got no problem with Tom, he’s a great kid. He’s going out to get more experience of men’s football and he’ll come back in the summer raring to go.”

South Wales Argus:

Speaking to the Truro club website, Owen-Evans said: “I’m delighted to be joining Truro City.

“It’s a club that is definitely going places and I just can’t wait to get going.

“The fact that the club is very much part of the leading pack was one of the key factors in my decision to come here.

“There are some big games to come and I am relishing the chance to help the boys carry on their great work so far this season.

“I spoke to a few people about the club before I signed and they spoke very highly of the environment that I will be coming into. It’s just what I need at this stage of my career.”

Owen-Evans had a taste of life in the National League North last season with a loan spell at Gloucester City, which he expects will stand him in good stead.

“If I’m being honest, I don’t know too much about this League,” he admitted.

“But I know about this level after spending time with Gloucester last season when they were in the northern section. It was very competitive and a good standard, so I am expecting the same here.

“I would describe myself as a hard-working and technical attacking midfielder; I like to get on the ball and make things happen.”

Owen-Evans continued: “My main aim is to play my part in getting the club into the play-offs.

“Whether that’s by scoring or creating goals; I came here to play regularly and enjoy my football.

“If I can do that then I am confident that I’ll be able to help the boys get to where they deserve to be.”