First Team

Three familiar faces from last season and three new additions already brought into the team ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

Mickey Demetriou – the goal-scoring machine at the heart of the defence; Dan Butler – who joined the County 100-club on the final day of last season at Carlisle United; and Josh Sheehan – who will be looking to carry on from a positive end to last season when embarking on his first ever pre-season schedule with the Exiles.

They were joined at the photoshoot by Keanu Marsh-Brown – who has already been promoted twice in his career and is looking to make it a hat-trick next season; Andrew Crofts - who can bring both Premier League and Welsh international experience to the squad; and Jamille Matt - who knows where the net is in League Two as-well as any striker in the division.

At the photoshoot, Sheehan, Demetriou and Marsh-Brown were asked to model all three County kits for the upcoming campaign, while Butler, Crofts and Matt tried on the home strip.

As they tried the home kit on for the first-time, Demetriou commented: “Yeah it’s really nice.

“I’ll be honest, when I saw a few pictures I wasn’t really sure what to expect but having it on today proves it’s actually quite a nice kit and hopefully everyone enjoys wearing it.

“Hopefully all the fans will enjoy seeing it and it’ll hopefully get a few more home shirts in the crowd.”

Three designs were originally put forward for the third kit – with the winning choice receiving over 50% of the 1,200+ votes cast.

And Demetriou feels the supporters made the right choice when helping decide on the design for the white kit in 2018/19.

He added: “I saw a couple of the options and I actually like the one that the fans have chosen so well done to them.

“We didn’t get much of a chance to wear the third kit last season but if we get a chance to wear it next year, it’ll be a nice kit for the lads to wear.

“I think the third kit – the white one – will be the best one for the first game of the season at Mansfield Town because it’s always boiling in a black kit.

“We’ll have to see on that one, but I have to say, whoever has designed the kits this year has actually done a great job which is nice.

“Last year’s kit was actually quite nice to wear so I’m sure they had quite a lot of pressure to design these ones and at the moment, they’ve pulled it off.”

The County squad will wear the new kits for the first time competitively when they travel to Mansfield Town on 4th August for the curtain-raiser in League Two.

And Demetriou believes that the club can start as they mean to go on during the contest at the One Call Stadium.

“Yeah definitely, we have to improve on what we did last season,” he continued.

“There was obviously disappointment in how it ended last year – not getting in the play-offs – but it was a good season for the club all round I think.

“Off the back of the year before, anything would have been better obviously and for us to finish in the top half of the table was good.

“We’ve just got to improve – we’ve built on the squad and improved upon it; a few people have left as-well which is obviously a shame when friends go but that’s football at the end of the day.

“The gaffer has brought in replacements already which is good and hopefully come the 4th of August, we’ll be ready to go.”

Talking season targets whilst at the photoshoot, Demetriou went on to say: “Everyone wants to get promoted obviously. There’s no point playing if you don’t want to achieve something like that.

“We’ve got a good enough squad to finish in the automatic places but who knows, we had a good enough squad last year as-well and we just fell away at the last moment.

“It’s a case of just being a little bit more consistent this year and hopefully we can finish at-least in the play-offs. I think that’s the minimal target and anything above that would obviously be even better.”

Between them, the six-additions that have already come through the door at Rodney Parade boast a total of ten successful promotion campaigns.

And Demetriou believes those kinds of characteristics will be beneficial for the club moving forward. 

He said: “When you get promoted, you have to be used to winning games so that’s a big mentality to have.

“All the new faces have had a winning mentality in whatever league they have got promoted from and they’ve all settled in really well during the first few days of pre-season.

“They all get on well with last season’s squad and hopefully we can just go again next season.”

The club’s new motto for the 2018/19 campaign will be #OurJourneyContinues.

Asked what that meant to him personally, Demetriou affirmed: “It’s going to be a journey whereby we try and get as many people behind us as possible.

“Obviously the fans were brilliant last year, considering the season before that they didn’t really have to come back.

“They did come back, and I think a few more came through the gate as-well and hopefully they can continue to support us next season as-well.

“Obviously we’ll work very hard each week to try and get three points for them and hopefully each time we win a couple of games then it might bring 10 new faces through the gates at Rodney Parade.

“Hopefully we’ll all enjoy ourselves and have a good season.”