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Youth Team Philosophy

18 September 2015

Take a read of our Youth Team Philosophy...


Newport County Association Football Club is based in the city of Newport, South Wales. The club participates in Football League Division Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Reformed in 1989, the club is a continuation of the Newport County club which was founded in 1912 and a founder member of the Football League’s Third Division in 1920.

Newport County won the Welsh Cup in 1980 and subsequently reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup in 1981. The club was relegated from the Football League in 1988 and were wound up in February 1989. The club reformed shortly afterwards and entered the English football league system at entry level.
The club achieved promotion to the Conference Premier for the 2010–11 season, the same level they played at prior to the original club’s bankruptcy in 1989. Newport returned to the Football League after a 25-year absence in 2013.

As a Football Club from a city synonymous with hard working, strong industrious and dynamic people, we promote these values when recruiting players and staff and also within our playing style both at 1st team level and throughout our club. Our supporters are honest, hard working people from a predominantly working class background and we have tended to recruit hard working, honest, athletic young individuals who have the ambition and attitude to become young professionals at the football club through hard work.

Our Academy reflects this background and has named its philosophy ‘Stamina, Steel and Style’ to remind everybody of the original nickname of the club the ‘Ironsides’ and to instill the region’s identity throughout the organisation.
The production of young players is integral to support the football club and to compliment the recruitment of 1st team playing staff, aiming to produce players for the 1st team squad and where required to transfer young players to clubs in higher leagues in order to operate successfully. We also aim to inspire the fans who identify themselves with young local players that come through academy system and progress to the 1st team that they support.


People throughout the organisation who are hard working (Stamina), honest, tough (Steel) and innovative (Style) to create a positive and modern image
A genuine connection with supporters and with players from the history of the club.
A culture of self improvement and accountability to the group’s and organisation’s targets


Our philosophy reflects Stamina with athletic, creative, aggressive and energetic players who play with high intensity, we employ an adaptable approach based on world class basic skills, good team balance and flexibility to play with creativity and imagination to reflect the Style area of the philosophy. In possession we aim to play a 4-2-1-3 or 3-4-3 system but will allow for variation in order to allow for the flexibility in our play previously mentioned and to allow for opportunities to take players beyond their comfort zones in situations where development could be achieved by doing so.

Our teams are well organised defensively and aim to regain the ball by swarming as high up the pitch as possible within 8 seconds of losing the ball whenev- er possible (Stamina). When regaining the ball high up the pitch quickly is not possible we aim to protect the centre and create a new pressing zone reflecting the Steel area of the philosophy, from our base of Steel we aim to counter attack as quickly as possible. If counter attacking quickly and directly toward goal is not possible we look to play through or around the block in order to create opportunities to score by breaking lines and/or through releasing athletic players into space at key moments (Style).

Out of possession we aim to play a 4-4-1-1 or 3-4-3 system but will allow for variation in order to allow for problem solving and also to allow for opportunities to take players beyond their comfort zones in situations where development could be achieved by doing so. The transition between in and out of possession sys- tems is an important area of our philosophy that challenges players to understand the importance of and maintain awareness during positive and negative transitions.



  • In possession we demonstrate world class basics and imagination.
  • In negative transition we quickly decide and communicate to use Swarm (Stamina) or Steel (Protect the centre) strategies.
  • Out of possession our units are connected, aggressive and disciplined - aiming to regain the ball at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • In positive transition we aim to attack the opposition goal directly and quickly, when this is not possible we aim to play around or between the opposition units to create goal scoring opportunities.


To support our philosophy we aim to recruit and develop players who are comfortable on the ball, 1v1 dominant and can make fast, intelligent decisions both in and out of possession and on both negative and positive transitions. These players also need to demonstrate the capacity to develop exceptional athletic ability in order to meet the physical demands of the philosophy and the modern game. We aim to support the development of world class basics in the players that werecruit and also to develop reflective and independent learning to build a mental profile capable of dealing with the psychological demands of football, education and other work in a composed and professional manner. We aim to recruit players who can become socially responsible and committed to being a true NewportCounty Person, providing a positive and immediately identifiable image of OUR CLUB. 

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