FRASER Franks’ forced retirement is a sign that players should savour every moment of their careers, according to Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn.

County defender Franks has been advised by doctors to hang up his boots due to a heart issue at the age of 28.

And Flynn says the news has had an effect on the rest of the squad ahead of today’s trip to Yeovil Town.

“I’ve told them not to waste their careers because it can easily be taken away from you through injury, illness or you start to think you’re better than what you are and you get released,” said the Exiles boss.

“Football doesn’t owe anybody anything and those who don’t appreciate the position they’re in tend to struggle and go out of the game.

“I always used to love going into training, even when I wasn’t playing. It’s the best job in the world.

“Everybody has a moan and not everybody is feeling 10 out of 10 every day, but you’ve got to really appreciate and make the most of a short career because nobody knows when it will be over.”

The County players clubbed together to send Franks and his heavily pregnant wife Stacey on a short break to Tenerife before the news was made public.

And the club has announced that fans will be able to pay to have their name printed on next season’s third shirt, with the proceeds going towards Franks and his family.

“It is a very unfortunate situation,” said Flynn. “It’s not the easiest thing to deal with.

“We have just got to be there and support him and help him on his road to deciding what he wants to do in the future.

“It just goes to show what kind of group we are that the boys paid for him to go on holiday with his wife. That’s the kind of community spirit and team spirit we have at this club.

“It shows what kind of atmosphere I try to bring to the club. Credit to the boys – they came up with the idea themselves and it’s a great gesture.

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“The club are doing what they can to support as well,” he added.

“We are not always in a position to do that but I think it’s a great touch.

“I know Fraser is thankful. He is not just a great lad but a very good player for me.

“We will miss him, but I would rather miss him on the pitch than in life.

“When you add it all up, I am glad he got the viral infection because him going into hospital was a blessing in disguise.”

Reacting to the news about Franks, goalkeeper Joe Day said: “We’re all absolutely gutted for him. I feel for him but, at the same time, I know the strength of his character and I know he can handle it.

“He’ll follow whatever path he wants to follow. I know he wants to stay in football and I really hope he can do, because he’s got a great footballing mind.

“He’s a lovely guy and I wish him all the best for the future.

“You don’t expect these things – a fit, young man – but it goes to show that you can’t take anything for granted in football.

“The manager drums it into us that you’ve got to train and play like it’s your training session or last game, and this just reiterates that.”

Day says the news will act as motivation as the Exiles fight for a top-seven spot in League Two.

“It’s a bit of inspiration for us as well – we want to do it for Fraser,” he said.

“He’ll be willing us on, and it does bring you together as a group. Hopefully we can do it for Fraser.”

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