LOAN signing George Nurse believes he can help Newport County AFC mount another promotion challenge this season.

The 20-year-old Bristol City academy product arrived at Rodney Parade on a season-long loan deal earlier this month.

Described by the Robins as a winger, he’s set to compete with fellow new boy Ryan Haynes for the left wing-back spot with the Exiles following the departure of Dan Butler.

And Nurse is confident that Michael Flynn’s men can push for another top-seven finish in League Two after last season’s play-off final defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Wembley.

“They had a very good season last year and just missed out in the play-off final,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be pushing for that this year also.

“Training and playing with them, I can see there’s great quality and definitely we’ll be pushing for it this year again and I want to play a big part.

“I think the team is playing well [in pre-season]. We’re just trying to implement what the gaffer’s been trying to teach us and I’m really enjoying it.”

Nurse joined the squad for the recent warm weather training camp in Spain and that experience helped him settle in quickly.

“It’s been good,” he said. “I’m getting to know the boys. They’re a good bunch and they’ve made me feel very welcome and I appreciate that.

“I really enjoyed it in Spain. It was the first time I met the boys and got to gel with them so it was a good week.

“It was tough – the gaffer worked us hard – but it was enjoyable.

“Five days with the boys was a good ice-breaker and helped me to get to know everyone.”

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Speaking to his Robins teammates Antoine Semenyo and Tyreeq Bakinson, who enjoyed successful loan spells with County last season, also meant he knew what to expect.

“They obviously gave rave reviews and I was really looking forward to coming here,” said Nurse. “It was a no-brainer for me and it’s been good so far.

“I’m close with Tyreeq and Antoine, even though I don’t really play with them that much because of loans, and they were buzzing about Newport.

“I’m still staying at home so it’s quite nice for me. Maybe I’ll have to sort out to a lift-share with Leads [former Bristol Rovers right-back Daniel Leadbitter].”

Nurse impressed in Monday’s 8-1 friendly win at Weston-super-Mare, where he was on loan last season, and he’s hoping to get the nod for the League Two opener at home to Mansfield Town on August 3 with Haynes still recovering from a minor injury.

“Ryan is injured at the minute, unfortunately, but it’s been good for me to get minutes and get my fitness levels up and get my first touch back,” he explained.

“Competition is always healthy, it’s good for me and I think it’s going to be a good season for both of us.

“I like to get forward and put balls in the box and create things for the team and I’m hopefully going to make my league debut in that game [against Mansfield].

“I’m really looking forward to that. That will be a great experience for me.”

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