Newport County AFC, 2014-2015
npower League 1
Capital One Cup
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy
Our fantastic voyage continues as we’ve made it three straight promotions and three straight league crowns! Can we cross one final hurdle and get to the Premier League in a dream run from the Blue Square Premier? At this point, why not believe? We’ve steamrolled through leagues so far but I have no illusions of doing so in the Championship. I fully expect a fight for a promotion spot with teams that are likely our financial superiors. I fear that even our best tactics will fall short against superior talent over the course of a long league season. Along with another league crown, we also bagged the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for a second straight year. We also had a fantastic run in the Capital One Cup and a decent one in the FA Cup as well. All in all it was yet another fantastic year for the club.
Once again we will look to strengthen our roster as we will face stonger competition in the Championship. Our assistant manager (11CA, 14PA) has me feeling decent about the current roster and some key prospects.
At keeper we will bank on Alan Julian being able to step up to the task once again against tougher competition. Joe Fryer will be his main backup and we’ll look to get him on the pitch more often to help harness some of the potential he’s showing.
Our back line proved to be our strongest unit, which speaks highly of them given their age (average age of 21!). I highly doubt there will be any changes to this group and I hope we can keep them together for a long time. Alex Coleman and Ian Lewis have become a fantastic duo in central defense, with Chris Devaney getting playing time in that rotation as well. Full backs Nortei Nortey and Blair Adams are also doing well and provide a good mix of both defensive ability with some surprising attacking ability at times.
Midfield is the area that will likely see the most change. At right wide midfield we will start integrating Tom Boyle into the rotation as he has the potential to be the kind of explosive wing player we lack. At BWM, it may be time for a full rework. We have a promising youngster in Tom Hurley but I would like to work him slowly into the role as a backup first. I don’t know what to do at the AP spot. Both Lee Evans and Archie Love are decent, but they aren’t great. Both posted 7+ average ratings but neither stood out as the kind of playmaker we need at the heart of our midfield. I’d love to find a big time starter here. At left wide midfield we need to look for a long term solution. Daniel Jones is a solid player but I’d love to find a youngster with potential to back him up.
At striker we might have some changes and it all depends on how Adam Birchall looks in the Championship. He looked magnificent once again in League 1 but I really don’t know if he can pull off the same feats one league higher. If not, Abiola Badirou will side over to the poacher role and David Moli will step in as our trequart. Moli is one of two bring young strikers that should be contending for playing time on the first team very soon.
Well, we bought our stadium this past year! The next orders of business will be to get the stadium expanded so we can increase ticket revenue. A stadium with a capacity of five thousand will not cut it in the Championship and I’m hoping the board agrees with me! After that I’m hoping we can start improving the training and youth facilities.