FITNESS is going to be key to any success Newport County AFC are aiming for this season according to manager Michael Flynn.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its affect on the last football season, the 2020/21 campaign will see fixture lists even more congested that normal.

For Newport County, who suffered an injury-plagued season last time out, ensuring as many players as possible are fit to play will be central to their efforts.

"Last season we had a horrendous injury record," said Flynn, "It was non-stop.

"Most weeks, for at least 20 to 25 games, we were missing between eight and 10 players. We haven’t got a big enough squad to be able to handle that.

"That’s got to be taken into account for why we didn’t finish as high as we might have hoped.

"Fingers crossed we have a bit more luck with injuries this season."


One player who is proving his doubters wrong, and his managers judgement right, is new signing Kevin Ellison.

The 41-year-old veteran striker has received unequivocal backing from his new manager.

"If they’re good enough, they’ll play," he said.

"He’s come in and proved his fitness. He was ahead of quite a few people in the running we’ve done. That’s a credit to him and the way he’s looked after himself.

"I know he’s definitely got a year left in him."

Flynn has known Ellison for some time, the two having played together for Bradford City.

He said that, as well as being an option on the pitch, Ellison would also be a good addition off it.

"He’s looking to get really involved in the football club," said Flynn

"He had offers from teams closer to home, he’s decided to come down and he wants to play a part in the heart and soul of the football club.

"For me, that’s worth its weight in gold. He wants to get involved in the mental health side of things too."

He added that, while not expecting him to play 90 minutes, week in week out, having someone with such experience and proven fitness in what is sure to be a difficult season would be invaluable.

"He’s going to have an important part to play this season," Flynn said.

"I’m looking forward to him sticking two fingers up to quite a few people."

However, the Exiles boss said Ellison was still not match fit enough to play against Cheltenham Town in the EFL Trophy.

"Kev will look to get a little bit more training under the belt before we risk him," he said.

"There are others who will come in and have a start.

"There will be some youth team players brought up into the squad as well."

The two clubs met in the EFL Trophy last season too, with County emerging winners in a 7-4 victory for the Exiles..

"It was a very good game actually," said Flynn.

"We struggled to score that season and scored seven in a game, away from home."