NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn would love to see Wales’ record appearance holder Chris Gunter finish his career at his hometown club, but the Exiles boss is not holding out much hope of that happening.

Newport-born Gunter made his 93rd appearance for Wales in Albania on Tuesday night to pass Neville Southall and become the country’s most capped male player.

The 29-year-old is currently playing for Reading in the Championship and Flynn says the chances of him moving to Rodney Parade any time soon are slim.

“It’s an amazing accolade for him to have,” said the County boss after Gunter’s record-breaking night in Elbasan.

“He’s a great lad and someone I’ve always got on with when I’ve spoken to him.

“I’ve never heard a bad word said about him. He’s obviously the ultimate professional and a good teammate.

“And, considering he’s not one of the bigger names, to be out ahead of Neville Southall shows what a good career he’s had. He thoroughly deserves it.”

Asked if he’d like to tempt the former St Julian’s High School pupil back to Newport at some point, Flynn said: “I don’t think I could afford him!

“He’s still looking in great shape. There’s not a drop of fat on him, he’s still mobile, and you’ve got to play as high as you can for as long as you can.”

County do have some potential future Wales first-team stars on their books after academy players Lewis Collins and Jay Foulston helped Wales to reach the UEFA under-19 Elite round this week.

Collins netted his first international goal in a 2-0 win over San Marino in Bangor on Tuesday.

“It’s brilliant,” said Flynn. “I’m really pleased for Lewis and Jay. It’s a big thing to qualify for a tournament with your country.

“It’s good for them and their families and also for the football club. It’s positive news.”

Veteran midfielder Andrew Crofts, who is fit for Saturday’s League Two trip to Cheltenham Town, has not given up hope of adding to his 29 caps.

But Flynn believes it will be difficult for the 34-year-old to force his way back into Ryan Giggs’ youthful squad.

Asked if he thought Crofts could play for Wales again, the Exiles boss said: “I’m only going to say no because I know what Wales are looking for.

“They’re going down the youth model, bringing in the up and coming youngsters who will be the future.

“If he can be around the squad then possibly his experience could help the youngsters bed in.

“That is important so I’d never say never but I think it will be tough for him to get a game now because Wales have got to be looking to the future, and rightly so.”