NEWPORT County AFC have signed defender Joe Thomas on a two-year deal from Swansea City.

The 22-year-old left the Swans’ academy at the end of last season after joining from Cambrian & Clydach Vale in January 2022.

The rangy right-back is now ready to take the next step in senior football after signing for the Exiles to provide back-up for the influential Shane McLoughlin.

“I’m delighted to be joining the club and I’m looking forward to getting started,” said Thomas, who was a regular for Swansea’s under-23s.

“Talks have been going on for a few weeks now and I’m excited for what’s to come.

“I’m quite attacking as a player, but i also like to do the defensive part as well. I’m just looking to kick on now and continuing to build next season.”

Thomas is County’s third signing of the summer after the arrivals of left-back Anthony Glennon and central defender Ciaran Brennan from Grimsby and Sheffield Wednesday.

BOSS: County owner Huw Jenkins is in charge of recruitmentBOSS: County owner Huw Jenkins is in charge of recruitment (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

With owner Huw Jenkins in charge of recruitment and retention, there has been a clear emphasis on bringing in young players who will have resale value if they develop.

Thomas will target League Two action by pushing McLoughlin, who established himself as County's first-choice right-back in an impressive first season in Newport.

He was backed up by loanee Lewis Payne, who is now back at Southampton, and young full-back Harrison Bright, who was released at the end of the season.

Centre-back Josh Seberry also covered on the right in an eye-catching start to life as a professional until he suffered a season-ending injury at Notts County in November.

The Irish prospect will be back in the mix for pre-season when the Exiles aim to have a new boss at the helm.

More signings are expected in the coming days as County get ready to return to pre-season training.

Jenkins is also hunting a new head coach after the departure of manager Graham Coughlan, who was followed out by his assistant Joe Dunne.

The Exiles still have first-team coach Dafydd Williams, goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman and conditioning coach Scott Wickens in position should a new boss not be ready for the start of the preparations for League Two.

County play their first friendly at Undy on July 13 in the build-up to the season opener at Cheltenham on August 10.