MIDFIELDER Josh Sheehan has given Newport County AFC fans a lift after last weekend’s play-off final heartache by signing a two-year contract extension with the club.

The 24-year-old, whose new deal will run to the end of the 2020-21 season, is the first member of the Exiles’ squad to pen fresh terms following the side’s Wembley loss to Tranmere Rovers.

County fans will be hoping that Sheehan’s decision to stay in Gwent leads to others with contracts that are set to expire also choosing Newport over a move away.

Sheehan originally joined County on loan from Swansea City in August 2016, scoring seven times in 21 league and cup appearances.

In January 2017 his stay was extended until the end of the campaign, although he only played four more games before an ankle injury ruled him out for the rest of the season.

After County’s miraculous escape from the jaws of relegation, Sheehan came back to Newport in January 2018, signing a permanent 18-month deal.

He made 46 appearances in 2018-19, scoring just once in a 3-1 home win over Northampton Town.

After finalising terms, Sheehan said: “I’m delighted to extend my stay at Rodney Parade.

“Ever since I first came on loan to the club from Swansea as a teenager I have enjoyed playing my football here.

“It was such a shame to end such a memorable season with a play-off final defeat, but I’m very excited to remain a part of the squad and, hopefully, I can play my part in another successful season.

“The fans have been brilliant with me ever since I have joined so I hope this news means we have started off the summer well!

“I am already looking forward to pre-season.”

Manager Michael Flynn added: "I’m delighted Josh has extended his stay with the club.

“He is a player that really kicked on during the second half of last season.

“He is a very talented player and someone who fits in with my style of playing more football.”