A BROKEN promise allowed opportunistic Newport County AFC land a bargain in wing-back Liam Shephard on a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old from Rhondda Cynon Taf has made a flying start to life at Rodney Parade after being released by Forest Green Rovers at the end of last season.

Shephard has slotted in superbly, with his energy down the right flank complementing Ryan Haynes' efforts down the left.

The new man has featured in every game, starting five times and coming off the bench against Cheltenham in the EFL Trophy, and it has proved to be an inspired signing by Michael Flynn.

The Exiles manager has long been a fan of Shephard but it was only when other lower league clubs let the versatile defender down that he was able to compete for his signing.

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"He said I was too expensive but when Covid came he could offer me anything! To be fair, he was as good as gold to me," said Shephard.

"I messaged him to see if I could come in and train because I was getting messed about by other clubs.

"I was supposed to go, had packed my suitcase and was on my way and they turned around and said they had got loan players in because it was cheaper.

"In the end I messaged (Flynn) just to stay fit, I really enjoyed it and he offered me something that is good enough to live off.

"I'd agreed to go up and speak to two clubs but I am at Newport now and that's the important thing. I am glad I signed here because I am enjoying it."

Shephard, who came through the Swansea City academy, is following in the footsteps of father Garry and brother Corey by representing the Exiles.

Liam got off the mark for the club with a sweet strike to open the scoring in the 2-1 League Two win against Barrow last weekend and his ambition can't be questioned – he wants to close the gap to his dad's tally.

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"I just need more opportunities – I am trying to catch my father with his goals!" said Shephard with his tongue in his cheek given that Garry passed a half-century in amber.

"He was a prolific goalscorer back in the day but he had an advantage, he was a striker and I am only a right wing-back but I'll try my best.

"In the last two years that is my eighth goal, so hopefully that can continue."

More opportunities certainly look likely to come Shephard's way after his lively start to the season, with his displays keeping Ashley Baker out of the XI.

Providing width is key to a side that features his former Swansea academy teammate Josh Sheehan pulling the strings from midfield, with Flynn demanding plenty of running from his wing-backs.

"I am used to it after playing there for the last two years," said Shephard, who made 67 appearances for Forest Green.

"I prefer right wing-back to right-back now; I've learnt the position and I'd like to get more goals and more assists.

"I think it's the perfect position for me and I can play either flank, in case anyone is injured. Whatever position the gaffer wants me to play, I'll play."