PRIESTLEY Farquharson will make his return to action tonight as Newport County AFC travel to Weston-Super-Mare.

The defender has been out since with knee injury since February. He had returned to pre-season training, but manager James Rowberry had not risked him in any of the first three friendlies.

The 25-year-old was limited to just two cameo appearances from the bench since Rowberry arrived at Rodney Parade, but despite this, his manager said he has the potential to come back and be one of County's “main men”

Rowberry confirmed that Farquharson will feature for 45 minutes against Weston-Super-Mare on Friday night, with the club managing his minutes ahead of the new season.

“Priestley will play tonight,” he said. “Priestley will play 45 minutes, so that’s his first game back.

“Since I’ve been here Priestley’s not played as many minutes as he would’ve hoped and I would’ve hoped.

“It’s good to see him back and good to see him training.

“He’s a really important character in the building and also I’m just really looking forward to seeing him play.”

After two different elevens lined up in each half against Cardiff, this weekend’s games will be the first opportunity many of the players will get for a 90 minute match.

“The aim will be for everybody to do 90 minutes,” said Rowberry. “We’ll manage the minutes of others within that, because we feel as though we need to with certain metrics they’ve hit over the course of pre-season. We’re managing everybody that way.”

One player who is missing, however, is new signing Will Evans, who is out with a concussion. Rowberry said the former Bala Town forward would be back for the friendly with Forest Green next Saturday.

This weekend will again see two mixed teams starting the two games, with Rowberry looking to test out different partnerships as preparations take a step up for the League Two curtain raiser at Sutton United.

“I’m not nailing down any starting eleven yet,” he said. “It’s mixing the teams up still and seeing different partnerships all over the pitch. It’s going to be two mixed teams.

“We knew the Cardiff game would predominantly be an out-of-possession for the two halves but it was an out-of-possession game first half where we had to defend and we showed our resilience with that by keeping a clean sheet.

“In the second half, we dominated the ball, but we obviously disappointed that we conceded the two goals that we did on the counter attack which is something we need to improve on. We’ve worked on that all week.

“Weston-Super-Mare will be a step up again, similar to what Hungerford was in some ways, but they play a different style. I know Scott (Bartlett) there very well. That’ll be a tough challenge.

“The Torquay game is going to be tough as well because it’s a Conference side and Gary Johnson is there so they’re going to be well prepared.

“It gives us a good challenge, a good test on all different aspects of the game that we need to work on. It’s also an opportunity for me and the staff to see all the players.

“The most exciting thing will be it’ll be the first time we get to see the fans properly again since Undy. So we’re looking forward to seeing everyone at Weston and at Torquay.”