NEWPORT County AFC are hunting a new head coach after manager Graham Coughlan left the club by mutual consent.

The Irishman had a year left of his contract at Rodney Parade but has left 'by mutual consent' ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Owner Huw Jenkins, who took over in January, states that the club want to 'move in a different direction'.

Coughlan arrived at the Exiles in October 2022, replacing James Rowberry, and helped steer the club away from a potential relegation battle in League Two.

His solitary full season at the helm turned out to be a turbulent one in which he had to deal with off-field issues – with a takeover because of financial fears – and two major injury crises.

After a lucrative FA Cup run that earned a high-profile tie with Manchester United, County were in contention for the play-offs until a disastrous run-in where their injury-hit squad lost eight games on the spin to finish 18th.

Coughlan and trusted assistant Joe Dunne would have been getting used to a new way of working this summer with new owner Jenkins taking the lead on recruitment and retention.

BOSS: Graham Coughlan has left Newport CountyBOSS: Graham Coughlan has left Newport County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

However, the former Bristol Rovers and Mansfield boss, whose family are based in Yorkshire, has opted for a fresh challenge with Jenkins now tasked with getting in his own man for the coming campaign.

The former Swansea chairman had given his backing to Coughlan last season for guiding the Exiles through challenging times but will now search for a boss who is content with an owner with a heavy influence on squad-shaping and other football matters.

Tellingly, the club state that they are now hunting for a "new head coach".

County previously moved towards that when appointing Rowberry under a director of football (Darren Kelly).

The ex-Cardiff first team coach from Newport got the job ahead of former Swansea man who Jenkins will know well in Cameron Toshack.

The new head coach will have big boots to fill after the straight-talking Irishman proved to be a hugely popular figure with the Amber Army.

Jenkins said: “I have total respect for Graham and found this decision particularly difficult to make considering all the hard work he has put in to help stabilise the club over the last 18 months.

“It goes without saying that I wish Graham every success in his future managerial career.

“However, moving forward I must take the club and the team in a different direction and stay true to my own beliefs which I feel over time will bring sustained success to Newport County and hopefully change the club’s outlook for many years ahead.’’

County return for pre-season training on July 1 and kick off the League Two season on August 10.

They are yet to announce any signings for the new campaign, although Jenkins says deals have been tied up with new recruits.