Newport County AFC Monthly Newsletter - February 17


Welcome to the second edition of our communication of 2017.
Thank you to those who provided feedback for our previous communication.  As always, it is much appreciated and most welcomed.

January has been a busy period both on and off the field.  Players have come and gone (13 in and 11 out); we did check if this was a record but were told Notts County once signed 23 players! There was a well-attended AGM to update you on as well as our regular Board Meeting and of course 3 draws and a win!

Here’s January’s news in detail:

AGM
 The AGM was held on the 19th January and was attended by Trust Members and Shareholders.  The AGM began with a speech from Manager, Graham Westley, who was keen to emphasise that the club needs to stick together and create a momentum which will see us stay in the League.
The AGM were then asked to vote on the following:
PASSED: To receive and adopt the annual report & financial statement for year ended 31 August 2016
PASSED: To authorise the Trustees to appoint auditors and fix their remuneration.
PASSED: To receive and adopt the Annual Report and Financial Statement for the year ended 30 June 2016.
PASSED: To authorise Directors to allot shares for cash dispending with S.561 Companies Act 2006 pre-emption procedures such authority to remain in force for the period expiring at the next AGM.
PASSED: To change the company name from Newport County ltd to Newport County AFC ltd.
PASSED: To receive and adopt the annual report and financial statement for year ended 31 August 2016.
PASSED: To authorise the Directors to appoint auditors and fix their remuneration.
PASSED: To authorise Directors to allot shares for cash dispending with S.561 Companies Act 2006 pre-emption procedures such authority to remain in force for the period expiring at the next AGM.
PASSED: To change the company name from Newport County ltd to Newport County AFC ltd.
PASSED: To receive and adopt the annual report & financial statement for year ended 31 August 2016
 
TRANSFER WINDOW
January has been a busy month for the club in the Transfer Window with 13 players arriving in various forms and 11 departing as the manager seeks to reshape the team for the second half of the season. The club have been strategic in their approach making full use of the loan market and undertaking astute business with the prompt signatures of players released by clubs. In particular, the club’s partnership with local Premier League Club Swansea City FC has continued to prosper with the loan extension of Josh Sheehan and the additional of Alex Samuel which we are grateful for. The club would like to send a warm welcome to all those players who have joined, whilst passing on our thanks and best wishes to those who have departed.
 




Players In

Transfer Type

1 - Jannai Gordon

Loan – West Ham United

2 - David Pipe

Loan – Eastleigh FC

3 – Josh Sheehan

Loan – Swansea City FC (Extension)

4 -Alex Samuel

Loan – Swansea City FC

5 - Florent Bojaj

Loan – Huddersfield Town FC

6 - Sid Nelson

Loan – Millwall FC

7 - Craig Reid

Free Transfer

8 - Mark O’Brien

Free Transfer

9 - Ryan Bird

Free Transfer

10 - Mitchell Rose

Free Transfer

11 – Aaron Williams

Free Transfer

12 – Michael Demetriou

Free Transfer

14 – Michael Flynn

Registered Player

Players Out

Transfer Type

1 – Josh Jebb

Released

2 – Josh O’Hanlon

Released

3 – Abdoulaye Meite

Released

4 – Jon Parkin

Released

5 – Carl Cameron

Loan Expired – Newcastle United

6 – Rhys Healy

Loan Expired – Cardiff City

7 – Reece Greggo Cox

Loan Expired – Queens Park Rangers

8 – Jordan Green

Loan Expired – AFC Bournemouth

9 – Ben Jones

Contract Expired

10 – Dafydd Jones

Contract Expired

11 – Lewis Bamford

Contract Expired

 
NEW APPOINTMENT
The club has in recent weeks appointed a new Media Officer in the form of Hayley Ford. Hayley joins us having previously worked in a similar role in the music industry and brings with her a new perspective and good skill set to the club. Hayley has already made an instant impact with regards to the club’s social media activities and in the coming weeks will be giving the club’s website an overhaul. Hayley can be contacted at Hayley.ford@newport-county.co.uk.
 
RODNEY PARADE   
Two of this month’s talking points in the papers and within the club have of course been the Rodney Parade Pitch and the small matter of a three-way fixture clash on the final day of the season.  We will endeavour to update you on both these matters as and when we are able but please find below the most recent state of affairs.
 
PITCH
Club Officials continue to work with RP and Football League to manage the position.
We have put in place the plans agreed with the Football League until the end of the season, most notably the procuring of rain covers.
Whilst these have been bought and paid for by the club, we intend to make them available to RP.
 
FIXTURE CLASH
The clubs position is as previously communicated – namely Football has primacy.
We have been in dialogue with RP and furnished them with a number of documents to support our position.
The Football League has also been engaged and fully supportive of our position.
 
BOARD MEETING - 
The January meeting was held on 26th and was the first to be attended by Mark Crook.

The Manager’s report was a question and answer session focusing on his plans for the Team in relation to the new signings. There was also a productive discussion on the way in which Graham Westley thinks his off-field Team should develop into next season.

The present status of discussions with Rodney Parade in relation to ongoing fixtures, close season works and the fixture clash was reported together with comments from the EFL.

Gavin Foxall gave an operational update which included:  the new admin team are settling in and working well; match DVDs for the Manager have been arranged; improved media briefing is in hand; tender is to go out shortly for a shirt supplier.

A revised financial projection for the year to 30 June was considered although this awaited finalisation of the ins and outs of the Transfer Window. A cash flow management plan was approved with a note of the need to press debtors to settle within terms.

Shaun Johnson reported that the Rewards & Benefits Scheme relaunch would be in the next few days. There was a most helpful offer to assist in marketing from Henry Howard Finance. The success of the scheme was seen as critical to finances going into the next season. A further linked rewards issue of Community Shares was also under development.

Neil Collier reported on fan engagement developments. The Junior Exiles Fan Club has been launched; a Match Day Kids Zone will operate in the marquee for an hour before kick-off starting with the Leyton Orient match; three match day Fan Liaison Officers have been identified; the web site will be updated by 11 February and serviced with news etc. thereafter on a structured basis; the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites are now supervised and more active.

AROUND THE CLUB
Each of the branches of Newport County AFC have been busy over the past month and have updated us with their progress.

TRUST 
After receiving a lot of feedback at the Supporters Trust AGM on the 19th of January, the Working Group have been looking at ways to both promote the several fundraising initiatives that exist in the Trust and improve the services we provide to members.

We have taken control of the Newport County AFC Supporters Trust Twitter (@ncfctrust) and Facebook accounts and will be using these to promote the Easyfundraising Trust Shop, the Rewards & Benefits scheme and Membership of the Supporters Trust as well as using the website (www.ncafctrust.org) which has been going through a redesign. Increased funding in these areas will be vital to ensure the future success of our club.
We have also added an automatic response to our mailbox (info@ncafctrust.org) and have changed the design of circular E-mails to include links to our website and social media channels, we have also changed renewal notices so that members are logged in to their profiles automatically and don’t need to remember their passwords. Trust Surgeries will continue at 1pm before Saturday home games and we will be there for membership queries and to discuss all things Trust related, come to the Snelling Bar and see us!
 
NCAFC DISABLED SUPPORTERS ASSOSIATION 
The DSA recently presented Joe Day with a memento as their Ambassador for becoming a Newport County AFC Centurion at Accrington Stanley.

We are continuing the "Buy A Brick" campaign to improve Disabled Away Supporters’ facilities and the first lot will be put on display in the Bisley Stand in the coming months; we thank Tommy Hill Builders for their support in that. Information and order form is available at http://www.ncafctrust.org/about-us/disabled-supports-association/buy-a-brick/ The first draft drawings have been made and will be discussed with the club and Rodney Parade in consultation with LPF to ensure suitability.

Anyone interested in joining the committee please email us atncafcdsa@gmail.com and we can arrange to meet.
 
ACADEMY 
The Youth Team travelled to Cheltenham Town on February 4th in the final game of the regular league and, despite losing, they managed to achieve their highest ever position in the league.  This means that, for the first time in their history, they have qualified for the Merit League and will be pitting their skills against the best teams in the South East and South West leagues.    

Since the academy was formed, the NCAFC youth team have failed to finish above the bottom two.  This season has seen a complete turnaround for the academy team.  The Merit League fixtures are now available on the club website.

Our FAW Cup Quarter Final fixture is set to take place on February 12th at 1pm at Lliswerry High School.  We were drawn at home to Newtown AFC - a great opportunity to progress in the competition.
 
COMMERCIAL - Rewards and Benefits Scheme
We remain committed to ensuring the club is not only sustainable but also ambitious and able to compete in League 2 and above. To achieve this we need to dramatically increase the number of supporters contributing to the Rewards and Benefits scheme. Recognising this there has been an on-going review to improve its attractiveness for fans.

As a result of our review, we have set a target to provide a secure an annual income of £100k for the club through supporters making monthly donations, with all money raised being used to enhance the club's playing budget.
In return for the financial support provided we have teamed up with a number of local businesses and national companies to offer a range of Rewards and benefits for our loyal fan base.

Each supporter joining the scheme will be provided with an Amber Loyalty Card, unique to that individual, which will have details of the supporter's name and membership number. The card can be used in participating outlets in return for a discount - with a family meal in Friars Walk followed by a visit to the cinema resulting in significant savings.

In addition to savings the card will also provide further benefits to fans, including:
- 10% off purchases in the club shop
- Automatic Trust Membership
- Inclusion in draw for EFL Cup Final Tickets that the club receive
- Inclusion in draw for FA Cup Final Tickets that the club receive.
- Attendance at selected training sessions
As we extend and develop the scheme the discounts and benefits available will potentially be greater than the amount donated on a monthly basis. A full list of current participating companies, and the discount levels available, can be seen in the rewards and benefits section of the Trust website.
 
Also remember to look out for further details over the coming months as we announce more companies signing up to our scheme - offering even more savings and benefits to our supporters.

For further details of the scheme, including how to join and the loyalty card that will be issued, please visit the Trust website at  www.ncafctrust.org.  Alternatively look out for forms at upcoming home games.
 
For further details of the scheme please contact James Watts on either 01633 481896 or 07972 541966 or by email james.watts@newport-county.co.uk
 
 
COMMUNITY 
The County in the Community Programme now employs 6 full time staff Dan Williams, (Primary Schools Coach), Mike Pratt (Community Coach, Leading on Welsh Football Trust Community Hubs), Dave Lewis (College & University Programme Coordinator), Dan Harvey (School Sport Coordinator & NCAFC Ladies Coach), Liam Jenkins (Premier League Kicks & Soccer Tots Co-Ordinator) and Norman Parselle (Community Development Officer).  It also employs two Volunteers Becky Smith (NCAFC Ladies) and Luke Martin (Mental Health Programme).

All of these employees and volunteers work hard to deliver four key aims across the community: Sport, Education, Health & Wellbeing, and Inclusion.  These aims coincide with English Football League Trust.

Amongst their projects are Amber Education reaching out to Primary Schools, BTEC Students and Foundation Degree standard students to engage them in education and sport; supporting the NCAFC Ladies side; organising a Match Day Visit for a group or school; Soccer Tots; School Holiday Sports Camps; and Walking Football for the over 50s.  They also work in Mental Health, improving Literacy and help bring sport and leisure within the Foster Care System.

You will be able to keep updated with the work of the Community on the Newport County website and on their social media.

There is a County in the Community-Trustees Meeting on the 6th February in Cwmbran.
 
CLUB OFFICES
The offices have received a complete “make- over”. Our thanks to all those who have contributed to making the environment a better place for our staff.
 
CHELTENHAM AWAY
The club would like to place on record its disappointment in relation to the supporter(s) who launched two flares from the stand housing the club’s supporters on Saturday at Cheltenham Town FC. The incident which occurred following County’s stoppage time equaliser is one of a serious nature and one which will not be tolerated by the Club. If anyone who has any information or video evidence relating to the incident then they are requested to send this to office@newport-county.co.uk. The Club is currently working with Cheltenham Town FC and the Police to identify the culprits and impose relevant sanctions on the individuals.

The incident marred what was an afternoon of fantastic support by the supporters of Newport County AFC.  

LUTON TOWN FC
Our home fixture vs Luton Town (28th Feb) has been moved to Tuesday 21st March.  The reason for this rearrangement is due to Luton Town’s progression to the Southern Regional Final of the Checkatrade Trophy following their win over Yeovil Town FC on Tuesday.  Luton Town will play Oxford United in the final. 

The final is due to take place on Thursday 2nd March; however, should Oxford United’s FA Cup 5th round go to a replay, then the Checkatrade Trophy Final will be played on the week commencing the 6th March.

Both Newport County AFC and Luton Town FC believe it is important that the new date for the match is communicated to supporters and everyone connected with the two clubs at this early stage to provide a reasonable level of notice to everyone involved. 

Thanks, as always, for your wonderful support.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS