NEWPORT County AFC will have a new-look front line in the coming season – and Lewis Collins will get the chance to take centre stage.

The 21-year-old is the sole survivor up front from the last campaign after the summer departures of golden boot winner Dom Telford, his regular partner Courtney Baker-Richardson, Alex Fisher, Rob Street and Timmy Abraham.

It would be over-egging it to say that 2022/23 is make or break for the academy graduate but, after being a fringe figure who has too often had the role of adding energy from the bench, it is a vital season.

The penny seemed to drop for Collins in the promotion bid two years ago when he formed a hard-working partnership with Padraig Amond, scored against Forest Green Rovers in the play-off semi-finals then started at Wembley.

However, he made just four starts and came off the bench 13 times in League Two last season, scoring just once with a long-distance cracker against Sutton in December.

South Wales Argus: ENERGETIC: County forward Lewis CollinsENERGETIC: County forward Lewis Collins

County get their season under way at Sutton on Saturday, July 30 and Collins will get his chance in the coming weeks to earn a spot in the XI.

Chanka Zimba, Will Evans and Offrande Zanzala have joined to be other strike options while the club are closing in on another forward, but Collins will get his chance to be a leading figure.

“Lewis has come back raring to go,” said manager James Rowberry. “He was probably disappointed with the amount of game time that he got last season but it was difficult when Dom and Courtney were doing so well.

“Now it’s a clean slate and he has the opportunity to show what he can do in pre-season, when everybody will get their fair share of minutes on the pitch.

“It’s then down to Lewis to demonstrate what he can do but I am excited about the situation up front.

“Lewis can play out wide but with the way that we play I feel he will be as one of our 10s or as a striker, and that versatility can help him really push his career forward.

“He has real energy and the ability to press, then it’s about adding the other bits to his game through working with me and the rest of the coaching staff.

“Everyone develops at different stages and hopefully this season will be one where Lewis really pushes on.”

County are currently on a training camp in Cheshire and play their first pre-season friendly against Undy AFC at the Causeway on Friday (kick-off 7pm).

Last season it was trialists and youngsters that played for the Exiles in a 5-1 win but Rowberry is set to play the seniors.