Friday, February 14
Newport, Gwent, UK


Newport City FC is Here to Stay

NEWPORT City manager Sam Houldsworth has rubbished rumours the Welsh League club is to fold and has revealed ambitions plans for first-time promotion back to Division Two. The Newport Stadium outfit finished the 2016-2017 season bottom of the second-tier table and since then strong rumours have been circulating the club was about to quit. However Houldsworth told the Argus he and assistant Dean Palmer are: “Definitely carrying on and will be aiming to develop this club, both on and off the field.

Former Pontypridd Town coach Houldsworth also outlined several aspects of the club’s plan, including:

  • Instigating a player-recruitment campaign to strengthen the squad to challenge for promotion in 2016-2017.
  • ¬†Seeking a locally-based person to work alongside current Oxford-based chairman Crawford Chalmers, who would remain with the club – but under a different title.
  • Starting a comprehensive commercial programme designed to bring in more local and national companies.
  • Launching a new website plus a free two-monthly club magazine to be delivered locally.
  • Introducing Friday-night fixtures in an attempt to draw more spectators to Newport Stadium.
  • Offering reduced entrance prices to all Newport County season-ticket holders with under-16 children allowed in free of charge.

“Those are the main bullet points while we will also be looking to introduce a youth team, recruit ball children and a mascot scheme for all home games.

“An important job for us to do is to try and attract more locally-based players to the club and Dean (Palmer) and I will leave no stone unturned in our bid to achieve that.

“So you can see from all this that Newport City is most certainly alive and kicking.”

When Llanwern officials informed the Welsh League they were no longer in a position to continue running the football club, a group of mainly Cardiff-based players applied to take over. However they had to wait until August 2, 2016, just 10 days before the first game of the season, before they were formally given permission to run Llanwern.

The lateness of the decision, however, caused massive problems in recruiting players and the first match resulted in a 6-1 away defeat by Pontypridd for new manager Ben Gifford’s side. In the Pontypridd dug-out for that fixture was Houldsworth and in late September, City named him as joint manager to work alongside Clifford.

But Gifford cited increased work commitments for his decision to resign on December 1 with Houldsworth becoming sole manager and also temporary secretary following the departure of Matthew Rake.

Recently Matthew Rowley, who has strong links with Newport County, has been appointed as City’s secretary.

Article reproduced with permission from original author Terry Daley

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