NEW signing Tommy Doherty is not concerned about dropping down into the Conference – because Newport County won’t be there for long.

The 32-year-old former Northern Ireland international midfielder has been a Football League regular for the last 15 years and he believes manager Anthony Hudson will get him and County back there in double-quick time.

Doherty, who had his contract with League Two Bradford City terminated by mutual consent last month, could have stayed at a higher level.

Several League One and Two clubs were chasing his signature but once he’d spoken to Hudson he was sure of where he wanted to be.

“It’s not an issue at all for me to play in the Conference,” he said.

“I had other options but the manager is very hungry and this is a club that is all geared-up for promotion.

“It’s a stronger league than it used to be with clubs like Luton and Stockport in there and I don’t believe there is a big difference in quality between the Conference and League Two,” he added.

“You only have to look at the clubs who have gone up and prospered like Stevenage who will be in League One next season.

“But this club is moving forward. We have the quality to go up and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Location was another big factor in Doherty’s choice of Newport as the next destination on his football travels, which have taken him from his local club Bristol City to QPR, Yeovil, Wycombe and even a short spell at Hungarian club Ferencvaros.

“I’ll be able to live with my family in Bristol after travelling up to four hours to Bradford last season,” he explained.

“That will be a big plus. I wasn’t happy up there. It was a bad move for me and I didn’t play much because of injuries.”

Doherty made 21 appearances for the Bantams but did not feature after December 28 because of an ankle injury.

“Now I’m looking forward to concentrating on my football again and enjoying the game,” he added.

“I know Scott Rogers from my time at Bristol City and he has told me about the fantastic team spirit at Newport.

“That’s so important at this level and I can’t wait to get started at pre-season training on June 30.”

Sriker Charlie Griffin, who was on loan at Spytty Park last season, has joined County’s Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Forest Green Rovers after being released by Stevenage.

The 31-year-old signed for Rovers for the third time in his career after it was mutually agreed by both him and Stevenage not to trigger the extra season clause in his contract after he returned from his loan spell with the Exiles.

“My contract was coming up at the end of the season and although there was an option there it wasn’t going to be taken up,” said Griffin.

“I then spoke to Forest Green and things progressed and I have signed for them.

“At one stage they (Newport) wanted to do something, and then the new manager came in and wanted to go his own way and wanted to bring in some different people, but that’s football and I’m really happy with Forest Green and hope to have success here.

“You know it’s not easy when your family is two-and-a-half to three hours away. You might think it’s easy, but it’s not. You’re off to training, you’ve got away games, and it’s hard when you’ve got a young daughter.

“Now I’m just 25 minutes from the ground, 25 minutes from training so I’ll be able to see a lot more of them.”

>>>>Follow us on Twitter. Search for ‘@argusoncounty’ at