Newport County AFC’s new loan addition – Mark Harris – believes he has the perfect attitude of wanting to learn and wanting to teach that will help the Exiles strive towards their ambitions in the upcoming campaign.
The striker put pen to paper on a loan deal until January yesterday, meaning Harris will stay with the Exiles initially for the first five months of the 2018/19 campaign.
It will be his first spell in League Two and first experience away from parent club Cardiff City, with the Bluebirds being the only club side that he has appeared for.
To date, he has made three appearances for the Premier League side, starting with his debut on 8th January 2017 during the Emirates FA Cup defeat to Fulham.
Here, read what Harris exclusively told iFollow Exiles about what he is hoping to get out of his loan stint with the club, expectations for his career and what players he looked towards when trying to make his way into professional football.
On his decision to join Newport County AFC on loan until January…
“I’m obviously delighted to sign for Newport County AFC.
“I just needed to get out and play some games, I feel like Newport will be a club where I can develop and get a lot of games under my belt.
“It will be a club where I can get experience, so I feel that this club brings a great opportunity for me.
“The gaffer has been very helpful, he’s rang me a couple of times and when we’ve been on the phone, I’ve liked the sound of everything he’s said to me.
“Neil Warnock has basically told me to go out, enjoy myself and mainly express myself on the football pitch.
“He told me to show everyone what I’m capable of and yeah, just to go and enjoy it really.
“I just can’t wait now for the first game Saturday.”
On what he can bring to the club moving forward…
“I see myself as an exciting player, a forward player most importantly – striker, left-wing or even behind the striker.
“I like to create goals, score them as-well so hopefully I can do that this season.
“I don’t mind playing upfront in a two, my main strength I would say is running in behind and getting at defenders.
“I’m not the tallest so I want to be able to get to flick-ons or even if it’s just a straight ball into the channel.
“I’ve also played as a winger quite a lot throughout my career to be honest. Mainly more when I was younger before I started to move more into that number 9 position.
“I’ve played on the wing before, mainly left, so I would have to say that I am comfortable playing across the front-line.
“I’m confident in my own ability. The lads have been great on my first day, so I feel like I can settle in pretty quick.
“The quicker I can settle in, the better it will be for me really. Hopefully I can get out on the pitch and show what I can do.”
On what he has learnt playing in the Welsh age grades…
“Obviously playing for your country is a massive thing. I’ve played for Wales in the youth teams, so I just want to go out, express myself and show everyone what I can do.
“If I do that here then who knows, hopefully I can get a first-team call-up one day.
“I learnt a lot in the youth sides with Wales to be honest. We had to go out playing abroad, playing very tough teams, so I did learn a lot.
“You just have to look out for yourself, play to the best of your abilities and hopefully more opportunities like that will come.
“To be fair, the standard at the  Toulon tournament was very good. Obviously, there were big nations there, we didn’t quite get out of the group stage, but I think we were very close to getting out.
“We did well to be fair, but we were also very unlucky in the end.
“Seeing as Andrew Crofts has been through the process of going from the youth teams to the Welsh first team, I guess I can pick up a lot of tips from him.
“Hopefully he can help me a lot as-well.
“I think I could also help the County players in the younger Welsh age grades. I started at U17s level and went into the U19S then the U21s, so I think I could help any player here that needs advice.
“If they have anything that they want to talk about then I think I could help.”
On who he looks towards for inspiration…
“At the minute, I have to say that Gareth Bale is an inspiration for me. Even the recent goal he scored in the Champions League final was just unreal – my aims are obviously sky high and it’s situations like that where I want to be.
“The build on Gareth Bale is unreal, he’s very strong and he can hold players off for fun and go past them easily.
“I guess I need to get around to that type of build but also, his shooting is second to none as-well. Every time he shoots it goes in.
“Hopefully, I can get to that level soon and maybe even play alongside him one day.
“I’d say that when I was younger, I loved watching [The Brazilian] Ronaldo and funnily enough, I watched a lot of Steven Gerrard, but he was a midfielder of course.
“He was my idol when I was younger, so I just learned off them really, picking up the traits they had.
“Leadership was obviously a key thing for Steven Gerrard. Throughout the seasons he carried Liverpool being their club captain.
“But especially with Ronaldo, his goal record speaks for itself.”