NEWPORT County AFC have signed Ed Upson in a bid to fill the midfield void after the loss of Josh Sheehan and Joss Labadie.

The Exiles have agreed a one-season contract with the 31-year-old, who left Bristol Rovers at the end of last season.

Upson was a regular for the Gas, making 121 appearances over three campaigns in League One, after previously playing for MK Dons, Millwall and Yeovil.

The experienced midfielder has big boots to fill after Sheehan moved to Bolton Wanderers and Labadie signed for Walsall.

Manager Michael Flynn added: “It’s a huge signing for us to attract someone of Ed’s experience and shows how we’re trying to approach the new season.

“He’s played at every level of the Football League and been part of a promotion-winning squad previously, so I’m hoping he can use that experience to help us get to the next level.

“He’s a good character off the pitch too, which is important, and I think he’s a perfect fit for this football club.”

South Wales Argus: NEW BOY: County midfielder Ed Upson (Picture courtesy of Newport County AFC/nicnacnoopixs)NEW BOY: County midfielder Ed Upson (Picture courtesy of Newport County AFC/nicnacnoopixs)

County were beaten in the League Two play-off final after a strong season and Upson hopes he can help them make the step to the third tier.

“I’ve been a long admirer of the manager and the way he’s got Newport playing and competing. I’m excited to be part of it and hopefully I can help take the club one step further,” he said.

“It was a no-brainer for me to sign here after speaking to the manager and I want to try to bring success to the club. Everyone I’ve spoken to about the club has spoken highly of it, so I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”

Upson becomes the tenth senior player under contract for next season, and the first specialist midfielder.

Flynn has his goalkeeping options sorted with Joe Day back at the club to battle it out with Nick Townsend.

Priestley Farquharson will aim to build on a promising half a season after his arrival from Connah’s Quay while Cameron Norman, primarily a right-back, has arrived from Walsall.

Matty Dolan and Scot Bennett can be used in both defence and midfield while Lewis Collins, Padraig Amond and Dom Telford will be options up front.

Defender Joe Woodiwiss, midfielder Lewys Twamley and striker Ryan Hillier have signed their first professional deals and will push for senior action from the development squad.

Contracts have been offered to central defender Mickey Demetriou and wing-backs Liam Shephard and Ryan Haynes.

Flynn will bolster his squad in the coming months and as the season nears will look to use the loan market with the aim of finding another Ben White, Brandon Cooper or Scott Twine.