NEWPORT County AFC will appoint a sporting director to work alongside manager Michael Flynn at the end of the season.

The Exiles aim to make an appointment in early May with the successful candidate getting a three-year contract at Rodney Parade.

Boss Flynn will be involved in the interview process, which will comprise of two rounds in April, and will still report to the board and not the new man or woman that gets the new job.

The aim is to provide continuity for the club should the manager land a job higher up the EFL.

The sporting director will be charged with helping bridge the gap between County’s academy and first team – with the club setting up a development squad.

They will work with Flynn on recruitment and retention for next season, develop a scouting network in Wales and England and also oversee changes behind the scenes regarding the medical and analysis departments.

South Wales Argus: BOSS: Manager Michael Flynn talks to right-hand man Wayne HatswellBOSS: Manager Michael Flynn talks to right-hand man Wayne Hatswell

“This is a critical appointment for the club and part of our planning to manage the risks of the business, while supporting the manager in the challenging area of recruitment and retention, particularly in the climate we are currently in,” said chairman Gavin Foxall.

“The individual will work alongside the manager, helping him implement his plans for player recruitment.”

County are at a disadvantage in that they don’t have an under-23 side to bridge the gap between academy football and League Two.

That has led to the decision to create a development squad for the likes of Wales age-grade internationals Lewis Collins and Lewys Twamley to fulfil their potential.

“There are several models in place at other clubs and we want to find a solution that gives a clear player pathway from the academy to the first team that is affordable,” said Foxall.

“We have settled on creating a development squad which will fill that void and provide that pathway.

South Wales Argus: TALENT: Lewys Twamley is one of County's promising prospectsTALENT: Lewys Twamley is one of County's promising prospects

“The basic concept is a ‘compress and push’ model, blended with a cohort of young players who have either graduated from our academy or been scouted into the set-up.

“The ‘compress’ will be from the first team players who might not be involved for a variety of reasons and a ‘push’ from academy players who are knocking on the door. Sitting in the middle is a cohort of graduated or scouted young players.”

The new squad will be in place for next season with details to be ironed out after the appointment of the sporting director.

County hope to be in League One next season and have a fortnight off because of the international period before resuming their bid for the play-offs.

Flynn’s side sit in seventh and start a hectic spell at in-form Barrow on Good Friday, the first of 10 games in 36 days to the season finale at Southend.