ACADEMY graduate Tom Owen-Evans has revealed that he decided to leave Newport County AFC after being told that he would not get regular game-time at Rodney Parade this season.

The 21-year-old midfielder joined Scottish Championship club Falkirk for an undisclosed fee last week after four years with County.

Owen-Evans made more than 50 appearances for the Exiles but, after ending last season on loan at Conference South side Truro City, he was deemed surplus to requirements.

And when the opportunity came to join Falkirk he didn’t need to think twice.

“The move came about out of the blue,” he told the Falkirk Herald.

“I was looking away from Newport after they said I wasn’t going to be around it this year.

“There were a few Conference South teams lurking around for me but nothing special.

“My agent asked what I thought of Falkirk and I said straight away ‘I like the sound of that’.

“For me it’s a new opportunity, I’ve just turned 21 and I’ve never lived away from home so it’s exciting and I can’t wait to get started.”

With eight other new recruits starting at the same time, the majority of whom are youngsters, the Bristol-born youngster is unlikely to feel lost in his early weeks at the club.

“It’s not just me on my own, there’s a lot of us in the same boat and that makes it a lot easier for us all to settle in,” he added.

“The boys that have been here already helped us all on our first day as well.

“A few of the boys have said that the club tries to sign a lot of young boys and put them on show. If we are doing well then the team is doing well and the club doing well. It works both ways so it’s win-win really.”

Owen-Evans also spoke about his admiration for former Exiles boss Terry Butcher.

The former England captain enjoyed great success as a player in Scotland with Rangers and managed Motherwell, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hibernian before his short stay in Newport in 2015.

“He was very good, I really liked him and got on with him well,” said Owen-Evans, who was one of a handful of young players to be given a chance by Butcher.

“He is a very good manager but he got sacked and I was a bit gutted.

“He’s a massive figure in the game, you see the photos of him with his blood covered shirt and everything. It was a pleasure to work with such a big figure and to learn from him.”

Owen-Evans moved north last week then travelled back to Wales with his new teammates a week later for Paul Hartley’s pre-season training camp at the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel.

And he could make his first appearance for the Bairns when they play New Saints in a friendly tomorrow night before returning to Scotland.

Falkirk’s first competitive match of the season is against Montrose in the Scottish League Cup on July 14.