NEWPORT County AFC’s nemesis Kevin Ellison has been on trial with the Exiles ahead of the start of the season.

The 41-year-old was released by Morecambe after nine seasons with the Shrimps this summer and has featured for County in pre-season.

The veteran forward, who has made 658 league appearances, is a friend of manager Michael Flynn and has been training with the Exiles as he mulls over his future.

County get their season under way against Swansea City in the Carabao Cup on Saturday then have a midweek EFL Trophy fixture against Cheltenham, then the League Two kick-off at Scunthorpe on Saturday, September 12.

Ellison was listed as Trialist 2 at Hereford United on Saturday but the Exiles already know about his qualities – he has scored six goals against them, recorded six assists and won a trio of penalties.

South Wales Argus:

He has also enjoyed a playful rivalry with the club on social media, while he gestured to the travelling supporters after a 2-1 win in September 2017 and ran to the Hazell Terrace to celebrate scoring Morecambe’s leveller the following year.

Ellison, who has played in the Premier League for Leicester and the EFL for Stockport, Chester, Hull, Tranmere, Rotherham, Bradford and Morecambe, has been contemplating his next step.

It has been reported that he has considered a return to non-league football, with Chester said to be an option.

“I’ve got two kids to support and I’m constantly thinking about how I’m going to put bread on the table,” he said to the Lancaster Guardian in June, also revealing he is studying for a counselling qualification alongside his coaching badges.

South Wales Argus:

“Of course I want to stay in the game, but I will do anything – any type of job – to provide for my kids.

“With the impact that Covid-19 has had, it’s really opened up my eyes.

“I find myself thinking ‘Am I really going to be playing professional football again with almost 1,100 other players out of contract?’”

County finished their pre-season schedule with a 4-0 win at Hereford with goals from Lewis Collins, new recruits Ryan Taylor and Saikou Janneh plus a late strike from another trialist.

The behind closed doors fixture at Edgar Street came after tune-ups against Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Cardiff City.

"We mixed the teams up and we want to have a look at a couple of players different positions. I thought they did their jobs well," said Flynn.

"It’s always nice to win, keep a clean sheet and to see the new players scoring goals as well.

"Let’s not get carried away, Cardiff are a top-six Championship team and Hereford are a few leagues below us, so it’s different but at least the boys went about it in a professional way.

"It was really pleasing to see because they performed well out there."

South Wales Argus:

This summer has presented different challenges to Flynn and his squad, with the Exiles using the job retention scheme.

"Pre-season has been completely different but we’ve adapted well to the situation with everything that’s going on," Flynn added.

"They’re doing the things that we’re asking of them and taking on board everything that we’re giving them.

"Now we’ve got a very important week ahead of us to get ready for the Swansea game. We’ve got all of the boys in good shape."