AFTER a short break from selection headaches, Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn is mulling over calls for Saturday’s fixture with Port Vale.

The Exiles remain top of League Two despite enjoying a weekend off courtesy of international call-ups.

Fierce competition for places has played its part in County’s superb start to the campaign with Flynn profiting from some savvy summer recruitment despite the coronavirus crisis.

As the Exiles prepare for a busy block of fixtures to end 2020, here’s the lowdown on those that arrived in Newport in the first transfer window…

South Wales Argus: EXPERIENCED: Ryan Taylor settled swiftly in NewportEXPERIENCED: Ryan Taylor settled swiftly in Newport

The experienced 32-year-old forward arrived from Plymouth after helping Argyle to promotion to League One.

Taylor settled swiftly and was up and running in County colours on opening afternoon in League Two at Scunthorpe. Scored the winner against Barrow and was playing a key role with his link-up play in eight outings before suffering a hamstring injury in October.

Verdict: Was looking a good signing before injury and will be an important option in the second half of the campaign


The defender arrived from St Albans City, keen to test himself in the Football League.

After making an impression in pre-season, the 25-year-old suffered a groin injury in training that means he is yet to make his County debut.

Verdict: Impossible to judge but with Longe-King nearing a return County will soon have another defensive option

South Wales Argus: HIT: Liam Shephard has been superb for CountyHIT: Liam Shephard has been superb for County


Flynn had previously tried to sign the 25-year-old from Rhonda Cynon Taf and profited from the defender seeing other moves collapse after his release from Forest Green Rovers.

Shephard, whose father Garry and brother Corey are County alumni, was snapped up and been one of the main reasons for the sharp start to the season after getting the nod ahead of Ashley Baker down the right to make 15 appearances.

Full of energy, the former Swansea academy prospect has been a creator of goals and scored with a sweet strike against Barrow. Has done the dirty work as well to help the Exiles be misery at the back.

Verdict: Superb signing who will be key to hopes of a promotion charge.


Joined County on trial in pre-season and earned a contract from his good friend Flynn.

After being gently introduced, has made a limited impact on the field with just two starts, both in the EFL Trophy.

Ellison has come off the bench on four occasions and provides County with an experienced, savvy option, one that will be helping the academy talent and young professionals during the week.

Verdict: On the field hasn’t made a huge impact yet but appears to be an influence off it.

South Wales Argus: LIVELY: Saikou JannehLIVELY: Saikou Janneh


The energetic forward signed on loan from Bristol City and was settling into the team when he suffered a hamstring injury chasing a clearance at Bradford.

The 20-year-old had formed a promising partnership with Tristan Abrahams to keep Padraig Amond on the bench and scored his first EFL goal in the win against Tranmere.

Will hope to return in the coming weeks and add to his 10 appearances.

Verdict: Janneh is raw but his willing running had helped to set the tone for County, provides good balance with the more experienced forwards.

South Wales Argus: TALENT: Scott Twine has been superb for CountyTALENT: Scott Twine has been superb for County


Signed on loan for the season but Swindon’s option to recall him in January has County fans worried.

The midfielder has been superb, creative in open play, dangerous from set pieces and a major goal threat.

The 21-year-old been a mainstay of the side, working nicely along with Josh Sheehan, and has racked up 14 appearances with goals against Cambridge (EFL and League Two), Mansfield and Colchester.

Was nominated for League Two player of the month for October and also the goal of the month for his effort at Cambridge.

Verdict: Has been sensational and will be crucial in County finishing the year strongly, then hopefully will finish the job at Rodney Parade rather than heading back to the County Ground.

South Wales Argus: TALENT: Brandon CooperTALENT: Brandon Cooper


Watched Swansea City’s defeat to Newport in the Carabao Cup and then sealed a loan move from the Liberty Stadium.

The Wales Under-21s defender started the League Two campaign on the bench but swiftly formed a strong partnership with Matty Dolan and Mickey Demetriou, slotting in on the right of the three and making 15 appearances.

Shows his Swans upbringing by being comfortable on the ball, got up for his first goal with a thumping header at the death against Harrogate but also has done the bread and butter work defensively.

Verdict: Looks a real talent and will profit from life with the seniors in League Two. Will be a key figure in 2020/21… and hopefully County could ask for him to experience the step up to League One next season!


Has been limited to a pair of outings in the EFL Trophy because of County’s strong defensive start to the season.

The Bristol City prospect adds depth to the squad but will be keen to have more involvement in the matchday 18 to then put pressure on the established defenders.

Verdict: On the books of a Championship club, so clearly a talent and will be keen to grasp any chances.

South Wales Argus: CREATIVE: Jamie DevittCREATIVE: Jamie Devitt


Arrived on loan from Blackpool on deadline day but had to wait to make an impact after having to self-isolate because of coming into contact with an individual that tested positive for coronavirus.

The 30-year-old Irishman has already shown his quality in just three appearances, scoring against Carlisle and Leyton Orient.

Verdict: Another creative force that fits into the way that County want to play, while his versatility should be valuable.


Another deadline day signing, arriving on loan from Lincoln City, but the Wales Under-21s defender is yet to appear.

Verdict: Clearly a bright talent and will be keen to play a part until at least January.


The third arrival on deadline day, with a loan move from Rotherham just sneaking in before 5pm.

The experienced striker provides a big option lacking after the loss of Taylor and Proctor has been looking sharper with more minutes.

After three appearances off the bench, the 28-year-old started for the first time against Leyton Orient but is yet to get off the mark.

Verdict: Early days for the experienced forward but his link-up play gives County, who are keen to play on the deck, another way of playing.