AFTER 10 long months it’s finally time for the Newport County AFC players and fans to relax and enjoy the summer but manager Michael Flynn will not be switching off.

AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was recently asked about his summer plans and his answer revealed a lot about the constant pressures of football management.

“I don’t think I ever relax,” he told the BBC Premier League Show.

“You may say ‘the end of the season, are you looking forward to that and having a rest?’ but the reality is that you don’t ever rest because then you have recruitment.

“And all those key decisions you have to make in the summer probably make the next season.

“So you just get a relief from the games and the intensity of the matches and the training but your mind is still racing because you’ve got to make the right decisions for the next season.”

So, what are the big decisions facing Flynn this summer?

Along with assistant Wayne Hatswell, management consultant Lennie Lawrence, operational chairman Gavin Foxall and chief executive officer Alex Tunbridge, the Exiles boss has been planning for next season for the past few months.

But, after the 2017-2018 campaign was wrapped up at Carlisle United on Saturday, things will step up a gear in the coming weeks.

He’s got a big head start with the new contracts signed by Dan Butler and Scot Bennett late last month.

Those two new deals mean a big chunk of this season’s squad is already signed up for at least the next 12 months.

Goalkeeper Joe Day and defenders Butler, Bennett, David Pipe, Mark O’Brien, Mickey Demetriou and Jay Foulston are all under contract.

Midfielders Robbie Willmott, Matty Dolan and Josh Sheehan will also be sticking around, while Tom Owen-Evans and Lamar Reynolds will return from their respective loans at Truro City and Leyton Orient.

And academy graduate Momodou Touray joins top scorer Padraig Amond in the forward ranks for the 2018-2019 campaign.

Flynn will meet with the remaining players today to discuss their futures.

Contract talks have already begun with striker Frank Nouble and injured captain Joss Labadie and the manager will hope to get both deals over the line as quickly as possible.

And defender Jamie Turley, who has spent the season on loan at surprise National League promotion contenders Boreham Wood, is almost certain to be released at the end of his current deal.

But there has so far been no indication over the status of Ben Tozer, Marlon Jackson, Paul Hayes, Calaum Jahraldo-Martin and player/coach James Bittner, who has acted as Day’s deputy for the past two seasons.

Tozer has made 45 appearances this season and has proved a valuable asset in midfield and defence.

It would be a big surprise if he was not offered a new deal and Bittner is also likely to be retained.

But the situation is not so clear for the remaining three players.

Striker Jackson and utility man Jahraldo-Martin have both seen their season disrupted by injury and have rarely had the chance to show what they can do.

Hayes has impressed in fits and starts, scoring four goals in two games at the start of March, but he turns 35 in September and Flynn may question whether the front man’s ageing limbs have another year in them.

In terms of new recruits, the boss has already stated his desire for a 20-goal-a-season striker.

Amond netted 14 times after his arrival from Hartlepool United last August and he could top that next season.

But Flynn will want to bring in at least two new forwards and maybe double that if Nouble, Jackson and Hayes depart.

Even if he does stay, Labadie is unlikely to play before Christmas so the Exiles will probably be in the market for a central midfielder and if Tozer goes they’ll need two more.

In defence, Flynn is likely to use the pre-season matches to look at options to cover the full-back positions.

And he’ll be scouring the loan market to secure the next Ben White and Shawn McCoulsky.

Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League will hopefully help in that department and Flynn will be crossing his fingers that Swansea City beat the drop.

And, if Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t changed his number, there could even be the possibility of a young prospect from Tottenham Hotspur strutting his stuff at Rodney Parade next season.

It’s going to be a busy summer.