NEWPORT County AFC have announced the signing of former Birmingham City and Barnsley goalkeeper Nick Townsend ahead of this afternoon's League Two opener at Mansfield Town.

The 23-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Exiles and will be eligible to play at Field Mill today if required.

Townsend started his career at Birmingham and gained experience on loan at Oxford City, Lincoln City and Barnsley.

He joined Barnsley permanently in 2015 and made 16 appearances for the Tykes before being released this summer.

After completing the deal with County, Townsend told iFollowExiles: “I think it is a good opportunity for me coming back into the Football League.

"I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove coming into this football club – I want to push Joe Day and also push myself at the same time.

"There is a great atmosphere here between the lads. The players are a hard-working bunch of lads, everyone grafts and I’ve really settled in on my first day.”

Manager Michael Flynn said: “Nick is a brilliant signing for us. He’s at great age and showed a real desire to sign for County.

"He played in the Championship last season so will be here to compete for the number one position. I’m sure Nick and Joe will push each other to new levels.”