THERE have been plenty of Newport County AFC and Dragons performances over the past 12 months to catch the eye – and now it’s time to decide who should be named each team’s player of the year as part of the South Wales Argus Sports Awards.

Irish striker Padraig Amond picked up the County prize in 2019, while Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright was voted best Dragon.

This year there are six candidates for both accolades.

Amond is there again for County, and he is joined by goalkeeper Tom King, defender Ryan Haynes and midfield trio Scot Bennett, Josh Sheehan and Joss Labadie.

Forwards Brok Harris, Leon Brown, Matthew Screech and Taine Basham feature on the Dragons’ shortlist, along with half-back partners Rhodri Williams and Sam Davies.

Since the last sports awards, County suffered extra-time agony in the play-off final, enjoyed a great start to the League Two season before slipping down the table, and had success in two cup competitions.

Amond is the team’s top scorer again this term with 13 goals in all competitions, including three more in the FA Cup as the Exiles reached the third round yet again.

Haynes had big shoes to fill after joining on the back of Dan Butler’s departure, and he impressed the fans with his consistent displays in defence and going forward.

Keeper King also hit the ground running following his arrival from Millwall, keeping several clean sheets as County got off to a flyer.

He also gained recognition at international level with a call-up to the Wales squad for key Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Bennett has had another campaign of consistent performances, either in midfield or at the heart of the defence when needed.

Captain Labadie remains an influential figure, while Sheehan has shown that when he is firing on all cylinders, playing at a higher level could still be a possibility.

The Dragons have shown increasing levels of improvement under director of rugby Dean Ryan.

Fly-half Davies again showed his value to the team last weekend with a late penalty giving the Men of Gwent another Guinness PRO14 win, while skipper Williams continues to provide a threat behind the scrum and has led the team admirably in the absence of Cory Hill.

All-action flanker Basham has been in scintillating form this season with a host of tries paving the way for a Wales call-up. Screech just brought up his 100th league appearance in a Dragons jersey, while Harris is still putting in the hard yards approaching his mid-30s.

Front row partner Brown keeps adding to his caps tally for Wales while also showing his versatility – and pace if you recall his try against the Ospreys – at Rodney Parade.

Votes for the County and Dragons player of the year awards, and nominations for the other awards, can be made by visiting

Chepstow Racecourse will host the South Wales Argus Sports Awards on May 14.


There is still an opportunity to sponsor either or both of the player of the year categories. Contact Cathy Parsons on 01633 777126 or 07977 967777 for details