SONNY Lewis became a Newport County AFC record-breaker when he made his debut aged 15 on Tuesday – but boss Michael Flynn would have been happy to field the midfielder as a 14-year-old, writes Chris Kirwan.

The St Julian's schoolboy impressed with a 68-minute performance against Cheltenham Town in the EFL Trophy at Rodney Parade.

Lewis, wearing squad number 37, became the Exiles' youngest player when he took to the pitch beating the record set by then 16-year-old Regan Poole in 2014.

It wasn't the first time that the bright talent had mixed it with Flynn's seniors.

South Wales Argus:

"I had him in training with us last year when he was 14. He wasn't allowed to be involved but I would have involved him if I am totally honest in a couple of the EFL Trophy games," said the manager.

"He is somebody that I thought could handle it and he proved me right, so that's a credit to him and I am delighted."

Lewis won't be involved in the League Two opener against Scunthorpe. In fact, the teenager won't get the first team call very often from Flynn.

"It's not as easy as it sounds to pick a 15-year-old week in, week out," he said. "We've got to make sure everything is right from a welfare point of view, we've got to speak to the school and his parents.

"He will need to change on his own and need his own room; there are a lot of things to take into consideration and we have to abide by the rules."

Flynn is proud of his record of giving youth a chance since taking the reins at County in 2017.

Lewis was joined in the XI by defender Joe Woodiwiss and midfielder Lewis Collins.

Academy prospect Lewys Twamley, a 17-year-old snapped up after previously being with Cardiff City, came off the bench for a debut and striker Ryan Hillier, who scored against West Ham last season, also enjoyed a cameo, while Callum Brain was back-up goalkeeper.

With games coming thick and fast this season, Flynn is happy to turn to local talent as long as they keep working hard.

"It's down to them, we will give them a chance and we will include them but they have to keep their standards up," he said.

"League Two is relentless, it's a really, really tough league. As a player, I found League Two harder than the Championship for a load of factors.

"The players that you play with in the Championship are a lot more technical and usually more professional.

"It's a really tough league with good players filtering down and it's not easy to be consistent in a 46-game season, and this schedule will make it harder."