THE wait is nearly over, Newport County AFC supporters will get a first proper look at their side for the 2022/23 season at Sutton United on Saturday afternoon.

As ever for a fourth tier club, the turnover has been big at Rodney Parade this summer with James Rowberry having his first real chance to shape his squad.

The manager, working in partnership with sporting director Darren Kelly, has brought in eight new faces and is still aiming to bring a promising number 10 in on loan before the end of the transfer window.

The Exiles seem to have strength in depth with options in every position as they bid to improve on last season's 11th place, when their promotion hopes were dashed by a poor run-in.

Rowberry's first line-up will be unveiled at 2pm on Saturday, an hour before kick-off at Gander Green Lane. Here's how the squad shapes up…


Nick Townsend and Joe Day will once again battle for the start with young Evan Ovendale backing them up.

Rowberry, like Michael Flynn the previous season when it was Tom King battling Townsend, chopped and changed his stopper.

Day edged it with 27 appearances in League Two but it was Townsend that finished between the sticks to take his tally to 19.

South Wales Argus: RECRUIT: Declan Drysdale will bolster County's defenceRECRUIT: Declan Drysdale will bolster County's defence


Imposing central defender Declan Drysdale looks likely to be a firm fixture in the XI while Adam Lewis arrives on loan from Liverpool to battle Aaron Lewis down the left.

Midfielder Sam Bowen has taken a step back in order to move forward after signing from Cardiff - he should provide plenty of control - while Morecambe stalwart Aaron Wildig adds experience behind the forwards.

It's all change up front with Omar Bogle and Offrande Zanzala signing permanent deals while Chanka Zimba will spent the season in Newport on loan from Cardiff.

Wales C international Will Evans has joined from Bala as a forward but his versatility has seen him also used as a left wing-back in pre-season.


The nature of League Two means that there is always upheaval in the summer but County have a number of stalwarts ensuring there is continuity.

Central defender Mickey Demetriou, defender/midfielder Matty Dolan and midfielders Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott provide plenty of experience and remain key figures.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Cameron NormanINFLUENTIAL: Cameron Norman


It's a relief to see Cameron Norman back in amber after a hugely impressive first season with the club.

The right-back's performances caught the attention of St Mirren in Scotland but, with the deadline approaching, Norman is back for more.

Central defender James Clarke also signed from Walsall last summer and proved to be a solid addition, with Priestley Farquharson hoping to push him for action at the back after an injury-hit campaign.

Aaron Lewis is a classy player on either flank while James Waite will look to build on an encouraging start to life in Newport after signing from Cymru Premier side Penybont in January.

Lewis Collins is still just 21 but the forward needs to have a big campaign and earn more minutes, whether as a striker or a number 10.


Harrison Bright made his League Two debut in the final game of last season with half an hour against Rochdale. The right-back is very promising and will hope to get more minutes thanks to the rule change that allows five of the seven subs to be brought on.

Jack Karadogan, Sonny Lewis, Lewys Twamley and Joe Woodiwiss will also aim to push the senior players hard.

South Wales Argus: TARGET: Offrande Zanzala will hope to help replace Dom Telford's goalsTARGET: Offrande Zanzala will hope to help replace Dom Telford's goals


Rowberry looks likely to have some welcome selection headaches in the coming season.

County have good options down the flanks and in defence - where Mickey Demetriou will remain the glue - while Sam Bowen and Aaron Wildig should be able to hit the ground running.

The question marks are about their forward options with big boots to fill after the exits of Finn Azaz and Dom Telford.

The Exiles need to share the goals around if they are to challenge in a League Two that will be even tighter and harder to call than usual.

County squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Townsend, Joe Day, Evan Ovendale.

Full-backs: Cameron Norman, Aaron Lewis, Adam Lewis, Harrison Bright.

Central defenders: Mickey Demetriou, James Clarke, Priestley Farquharson, Declan Drysdale, Joe Woodiwiss.

Defender/midfielders: Scot Bennett, Matty Dolan.

Midfield: Robbie Willmott, Sam Bowen, James Waite, Aaron Wildig, Jack Karadogan, Lewys Twamley.

Forwards: Omar Bogle, Offrande Zanzala, Lewis Collins, Will Evans, Chanka Zimba.