JOSH Pask turned down Football League interest to stay in Wales with Cymru Premier champions TNS after taking the advice of former Newport County AFC teammates.

The 24-year-old defender spent the second half of last season on loan at Rodney Parade from Coventry City.

Signed to add pace to the back line, he made 10 appearances but was hindered by knee and hamstring injuries.

Nonetheless, manager James Rowberry initially expressed his interest in signing the central defender permanently when his Sky Blues contract expired in the summer.

County instead signed Declan Drysdale – another Coventry man – and Pask is heading for Oswestry thanks to his time at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus: Josh Pask in action for CountyJosh Pask in action for County

"It was a good experience. I wasn't getting much game time at Coventry and decided to go to Newport," he said.

"I got to understand a bit of the Welsh lingo! It was a great time at that is why I am here now.

"I was speaking to some of the lads at Newport who were previously in the Welsh league, James Waite (Penybont) and Priestley Farquharson (Connah's Quay Nomads), and they told me it was a good standard.

"They mentioned TNS and them being the best in the league and the opportunity to play European football, which is fantastic. They really sold it to me."

Pask is set to be in the defence when TNS take on Irish Premiership champions Linfield in the first round of the Champions League qualifying.

The first leg is in Shropshire on Tuesday before the decider at Windsor Park in Belfast the following week.

The Welsh champions' hopes are boosted by the arrival of Pask, who is reunited with head coach Anthony Limbrick.

"During my time at West Ham United, Josh was a standout performer in the club's U18 and U23 teams, so I was very keen to bring him to Oswestry as soon as I heard he was available," he said.

"With English Championship experience, and still just 24 years old, Josh has great potential to develop and improve as a player here at Park Hall.

"We managed to beat a number of Football League clubs to secure his services, which says a lot about the direction in which The New Saints want to progress and move forward.

"He's a very quick and physical central defender, comfortable on the ball and can also travel out from the back so he'll fit in perfectly with our style of play."