Newport County AFC - March 17 Newsletter.


Welcome to the March Newsletter. A lot has changed over the past month at the club so let’s not waste any time and dive straight into the news from around the club. 


Here’s the Club’s news in detail:


MANAGER


On the 9th March, the Board made the decision to part company with manager Graham Westley. They, instead, appointing a Caretaker Manager in the form of Michael Flynn. The official Board Statement read:


“Newport County AFC Board of Directors met yesterday evening.


As a result, the Club can confirm that Manager Graham Westley has been relieved of his first team duties with immediate effect. In addition, Assistant Manager Dino Maamria will also be leaving the club.


The Board of Directors would like to place on record its thanks to Graham and Dino for their hard work in challenging circumstances. Graham has worked extremely hard in improving standards throughout the Club.


First team coach Michael Flynn will become Caretaker Manager until the end of the season. He is currently forming his team and we will make a further announcement later today.”


 


WELCOME LENNIE LAWRENCE!


Newport County AFC are delighted to announce that Lennie Lawrence is joining the club as a First Team Management Consultant. He will be on hand to assist Caretaker Manager Michael Flynn and Assistant Caretaker Manager Wayne Hatswell until the end of the season.


Lennie is a vastly experienced manager having managed a number of teams from Charlton Athletic, Middlesbrough and most recently Cardiff in a career spanning more than 30 years. He is one of a select few managers to have managed over 1,000 league games.


Caretaker Manager Michael Flynn said “I’m over the moon that Lennie’s agreed to come on board. It’s not only great for the club, it’s excellent for me personally and for my managerial career. I’m always learning and if I can’t learn from someone who’s managed over a 1000 times in the football league then I won’t be able to learn from anyone. Not only will Lennie be important for my development, he’ll also be helpful to the board as he brings with him a wealth of football knowledge. I’m sure having someone like Lennie on board will give the players a massive lift too. I also hope that bringing Lennie in will show the fans how committed I am to doing what’s best for the club.”


Lennie commented “I met Michael at the FAW UEFA Pro license course and when approached I was delighted to offer some support. I have undertaken this type of role on several occasions and will be there for Michael to offer advice and guidance when needed.”


 


PITCH COVERS


 


Following the purchase of the pitch covers and the forecast of heavy rain ahead of the match vs Leyton Orient FC, a number of willing helpers were recruited to help the club prepare for the game. The academy players were a massive help in laying the covers on Thursday night and a band of brilliant supporters (including one Leyton Orient fan) joined with directors and club and community staff to help remove the covers on Saturday morning. Teamwork and a little trial and error saw the covers removed in record time and ensured the pitch was playable by 3pm.


Newport County AFC wants to extend a massive thank you to both The Academy and the volunteers for all their efforts. Gavin Foxall said ‘Fantastic effort from supporters today (Sat 4th March) in removing the covers from the pitch. Thank you to everyone who gave their time.’


 


DISABLED SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION (DSA)


 


During March the Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) will be promoting and celebrating the Level Playing Field "Weeks of Action 2017" which this year has a theme of Game Changers; those who encourage disabled people into football whether it's participation or match attendance. We, along with the club are focusing on the work that our Community Team facilitate around Dementia and Mental Health & Well-Being and how involvement in football can help. We collaborated with the club and produced a statement for the players to deliver to our fans; along with sharing videos and articles about the direct activities that the club are involved in delivering, these being Walking Football (every Monday) and "We Wear the Same Shirt" (every Thursday) sessions. Other events will follow and we will be attending the 2nd Annual DSA Forum for Wales in Wrexham on Wednesday 15th March, we also hope to have some additional promotions in place for Blackpool's visit to Rodney Parade on the 18th March 2017.


 


A new Board has recently been formed, and will continue to focus on our work to improve facilities for supporters alongside policy development. The Board of the DSA has agreed that at this point we will not utilize any funding from our projects to improving facilities at Rodney Parade but will still use raised funds to purchase items such as Ear Defenders and ADC systems to name a few that will benefit disabled supporters attending matches.


 


As part of our continued fundraising schemes to support facility development we continue to look for sponsors (individual and businesses) to support our ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign. We do appreciate at such a time of indecision and concern regarding the club that fans may have some concerns about committing funds at this stage, however we can assure you that whatever happens, particularly in terms of playing venue that this project will continue and we have the ability to relocate the scheme if and when required.


 


PLAYER ACTIVITY


Now that we are outside of the transfer window, the club’s only recent transfer activity has been in the form of loans to non-league clubs with Jack Compton, Tom Meechan, and Marcus Beauchamp all moving to local clubs to gain first team football. Maxime Blanchard who joined the club on non-contract terms in early February made his only appearance in our 0-0 draw at home to league leaders Doncaster Rovers before terminating the terms by mutual consent to stay with his family in Ireland.


In addition, Josh Sheehan has returned to Swansea City AFC after an injury to his ACL ruled him out for a number of months. We wish Josh all the best with his recovery and with his future career.


Player Name Transfer Type Club


Jack Compton Loan Out Merthyr Town


Tom Meechan Loan Out Hungerford Town


Marcus Beauchamp Loan Out Slimbridge AFC


Maxime Blanchard Contract Terminated Mutually N/A


COMMUNITY NEWS


Premier League Kicks is continuing to give the young people of Newport an opportunity to express themselves through competitive football…


 


County in the Community have been delivering the Premier League Kicks project across Newport since October 2016. With sessions taking place across many areas including Ringland, Somerton, Bettws and Duffryn on Friday evenings. Sessions are delivered to engage young people at times of high need, to give them an opportunity to play, practice their skills and help fight against Anti-Social Behaviour within the area.


Following on from previous tournaments that took place in October and December 2016, the third Central Venue Tournament took place at Play Football, Bettws, on 23rd February. The tournament saw over 80 young people, aged between eleven and eighteen turn up to take part in a 5-a-side tournament. All participants thoroughly enjoyed the evening and felt pride in representing their community against others from the Newport area. One participant said that Kicks was “the best” while another stated they “look forward to the tournaments for weeks”. Premier League Kicks is making a difference throughout Newport and will continue to do so throughout the coming months and years. If you have any questions about the evening please contact Liam Jenkins via email – liam.jenkins@newport-county.co.uk


 


COMMERCIAL NEWS


 


For the second time this season, we have teamed up with Ponthir Road Suzuki to give one lucky fan the chance to win a car in our supporters’ draw. You could be a winner like Dave Vaughan from Llanelli was earlier in the season!


We have 3,000 tickets for the draw, which are priced at £5 each. The draw for the lucky winner of the car will take place at our home fixture at Rodney Parade against Notts County on Saturday 6th May.


This scheme is a major financial driver for the club, so you wouldn't just be in with a chance of winning a Suzuki car, you would also be helping to support Newport County AFC. The money raised will go into the playing budget for the 2017/2018 season


Tickets for the draw will be on sale from the Ticket Office from 10am tomorrow and can be purchased by phoning 01633 481896.


We are offering weekly and monthly prizes to supporters and sponsors who help sell the tickets. If you are interested in selling tickets to raise money for your club, please email James Watts at james.watts@newport-county.co.uk or phone 01633 481896.


 


 


ACADEMY NEWS


The NCAFC Academy are having a fantastic year. Having qualified for the Merit League for the first time in their history, they then made a real show of intent by winning their first three games against very tough opposition.


To continue on this season’s good work, the Academy has recently undertaken an extensive review to ensure its effectiveness going forward both in engaging local young players and in bringing young players through to the first team.


On the 16th March, 150 of the Club's Academy players, parents and coaches attend a presentation at Rodney Parade to learn about a variety of exciting developments surrounding the clubs Academy for the 2017-18 season. Since the Club’s promotion to the Football League in 2013 it has operated an EPPP Category 4 Academy, whilst continuing to support the original grassroots County Junior Academy which provides training and matches for players aged 7-16 years old.


Over the past couple of months, the Club has undertaken an extensive review of its Academy structure, as well as those at other Football League clubs. The review has highlighted a need for the Club to restructure its Academy in order increase its level of engagement with local young players and heighten the potential development of future first team players. In addition, the restructure will provide the Club with a strong platform from which to transition from an Category 4 EPPP Academy to a Category 3 EPPP Academy at a suitable point in time.


The restructure which will be implemented in time for the start of 2017/18 season will see the Junior Academy dissolved and the players offered the opportunity to participate in the Clubs new Academy Squads and Development Centres. Academy Squads will train for 3 hours per week and play matches and tournaments against other Professional Academies, whilst the Development Centres which will run in Rogerstone and Cwmbran will provide 1 hour of weekly training sessions with matches against other Professional Development Centres.


In addition, the Academy will be launching a Football and Education Programme which will be run at Lliswerry High School which will commence at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The programme which will be open to players aged 16-18 years old will provide them with an opportunity to undertake a BTEC in Sport whilst training on a daily basis with the club and representing them in a competitive league. The programme will also provide players who exit the Academy structure at under 16 level with an alternative progression route should a Scholarship not be offered to them, whilst allowing the Club to track the development of these players throughout their time on the programme.


The restructure of the Academy will enable the set up to become financially self-sufficient, providing players with security and longevity of activities. As well allowing the Club to maximise the potential scope of player development activities and commercial sponsorship.


Academy Manager Byron Anthony stated "The restructure is a great opportunity for the Club to build upon the great work which has been achieved by all those involved in the Junior Academy and by everyone at the Club since promotion to the EFL. The time has come to increase our development activities and focus on producing even more talented players through the revised system which offers security and longevity."


Further updates on the restructure of the Academy will be advertised in due course across the club’s media channels. Should anyone have any questions or be interested in joining any one of the Academies new activities please email dan.benham@newport-county.co.uk.


 


 


 


PITCH SPONSORSHIP


The pitch sponsorship page in the programme which is run by Richard and Alan Coombs raised just over £1500 this season bringing the total raised by this page in the past five seasons to £8100.


The scheme is a simple way for supporters to make small contributions to our club and see their names in the programme acknowledging that support. Richard and Alan would like to thank all those supporters and businesses who generously contributed this season.


The photograph shows Richard presenting the cheque to Newport County AFC chairman Gavin Foxall who looks very happy to receive it