THE Newport County AFC coaching staff have been struck by the strides made by loan striker Chanka Zimba and are confident the striker will hit the goal trail in League Two.

The 20-year-old Cardiff City prospect will spent the 2022/23 season with the Exiles, battling with Omar Bogle, Offrande Zanzala, Will Evans and Lewis Collins for action up front.

Zimba was on the books at Blackburn before moving to the Bluebirds in 2020 and, after impressing for their under-23s, made his Championship debut at Preston last November.

He spent the second half of the campaign at Northampton but was primarily used off the bench as the Cobblers were agonisingly pipped to automatic promotion then beaten in the play-off semi-finals.

Zimba scored one goal in 13 appearances, two of which were starts, and has impressed so far for County during pre-season, netting against Hungerford Town and Weston-Super-Mare.

“Chanka has improved no end since I last worked with him at Cardiff,” said manager James Rowberry, who left the Bluebirds to become Exiles boss in mid-October.

“I obviously looked at bits of him from games but Carl [Serrant, assistant manager who joined from Cardiff in February] worked with him more recently than I had.

“He said it was a no-brainer for us to sign him because he will score goals in a team that passes the ball and tries to penetrate the back line.

“The goal that he scored against Hungerford was terrific – he turned the defender on halfway, went through and slotted it in.

“We play with a front two and Chanka will get goals, I am sure of that. He has settled in nicely.”