NEWPORT County AFC striker Seb Palmer-Houlden has been nominated for the PFA League Two fans’ player of the month award for January.

The 19-year-old Bristol City loanee scored the only goals in 1-0 victories over Doncaster Rovers and Wrexham last month, as well as helping the Exiles secure a dream FA Cup clash with Manchester United.

And he continued his fine form in February with the winner against Swindon Town last Saturday to take his goal tally to seven in an injury-hit season.

Palmer-Houlden is up against former County captain Mickey Demetriou, now at Crewe Alexandra, Wrexham striker Steven Fletcher, Salford City forward Matt Smith, Jack Muldoon of Harrogate Town and Swansea-born Stockport County midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans for the award. County fans can vote for Palmer-Houlden at

The striker, who will be looking for more goals at Walsall tomorrow, is getting used to being in the spotlight thanks to his impressive striker partnership with 20-goal Will Evans and he’s quickly become a firm favourite with the fans at Rodney Parade.

But he’s admitted that, until recently, the thought of playing in front of large crowds terrified him.

“I used to really struggle playing in front of crowds, I used to get nervous before games,” he told Bristol Live.

“But my old man told me if you switch your mindset and think it’s actually excitement, not nerves, then that completely changed the picture for me and now I can’t imagine playing in front of a full crowd anymore. It gives you an extra bit of drive and makes you enjoy it even more. It’s just been a really good experience for me.

“The thought of it, a year or two ago would have been, ‘am I ready?’ I didn’t trust in myself as much as I should, but I think that’s now come with ageing a bit and playing in front of big crowds and just flipping my mindset: just go and enjoy the experience.

“At the end of the day, you can do your best but just go and enjoy it. That’s the way I try and play, anyway. I work my hardest, and if on the day I’m good enough, I am, and if I’m not, then I’m not, and that’s the best way to be, I think.

“I think it’s a natural thing that everyone goes through. I think a lot of players go through it, but they won’t speak about it because you have to try and put on the picture of taking everything as it comes. Now I just feel so comfortable playing in front of people.”

Palmer-Houlden says the experience he has gained with County will stand him in good stead for his future career.

“Being around a proper men’s environment, the changing room, and spending time listening to the advice other players have to give has helped my game massively,” he added.

“Those that have been in the game for years; Will Evans, Omar Bogle – he’s been at 13-14 clubs – someone who has been there and done it, and it’s just good to learn off them every day and I feel like I’ve developed so much this year, whether that’s my hold-up play, my heading, maybe even little bits of movement.

“And it’s playing with good players as well, but older players who may get onto you a bit more, because you’re a youngster and you want to bring that high standard. And I’ve got better at that because I’ve experienced playing with them and it’s the best feeling when a player trusts you with the ball.”