Newport County AFC’s latest loan signing – Regan Poole – says he is re-joining the ‘perfect club at the perfect time’ to continue his development as he tries to force his way into the first-team fold at his parent club.
Poole moves back to the Exiles on loan until the end of the season from 13-time Premier League champions Manchester United and will be in contention for tomorrow’s League Two encounter with Exeter City, subject to international clearance.
The 20-year old will be a familiar name to County fans after his spell at the club before his move to Old Trafford in 2015, and he still holds the record for being the youngest ever player to feature for the club having made his debut aged 16 years and 94 days against Shrewsbury Town on 20th September 2014.
Since moving to Old Trafford, Poole has made one first-team appearance during a last-32 tie with FC Midtjylland in the Europa League and also spent time on loan with Northampton Town last season.
Here, you can read exclusively what Poole told iFollow Exiles on his first day back in South Wales…
On returning to Newport County AFC on loan…
"I'm really happy to be back. As soon as I knew the club wanted me back on loan, it was a no-brainer really. I feel like Newport County AFC can get promoted this season and I'm here to try and help them achieve that.
"I just want to play some football. I played a lot of football the last time I was here, and I just want to get back to doing that again. I loved every minute of my time here last time around and that’s why I’m back.
"I love it here, I love everything about it, so it doesn’t really matter about what changes there are, I just want to come straight back in and play football. I can’t wait to get going again.
"I know quite a few of the players anyway, not many of them were here last time I was here but a few are still here. I know quite a few staff as well and I feel like I’ve fitted in already.
"I’ve just moved back home so that part of the move was quite easy really. It is exactly like the first time I was here, it’s about going back to that really. It won’t take too much adjusting going back home so that part of it is quite easy.
"Not many people go out on loan and instantly go to the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup. I watched the game against Leicester, that was great, and it was great to see the club doing so well."
On his relationship with Mike Flynn…
"As soon as I spoke to Mike Flynn, I knew why I needed to come here, and he was one of the main reasons for coming back here.
"He played a massive part in my decision and he always has done throughout my career so far. As soon as I knew he was interested, I came virtually straightaway.
"He was the academy manager when I was a youth scholar at Newport, so I know him well already. The gaffer taught me everything really. He gave me a lot of confidence in myself and confidence is hugely important in football.
"When someone backs you, you feel like you can do anything really. That was the main thing, he gave me confidence and that’s what made me the player I am today I suppose."
On his relationship with Newport County AFC and the supporters…
"To be fair, I’ve been to a couple of the matches this season – the Colchester one sticks out.
"I’ve always kept an eye on how they are doing, looking every weekend to see how they got on. It wasn’t just about the Leicester game, it was the whole season so far really.
"They were second and third in the table and that is the reason why I’m here. I feel like we could get promoted, get into the play-offs, and hopefully I can help them do that.
"I loved the fans when I was first here, they were great, and I can’t wait to get back out there on a Saturday and enjoy it. The fans are, and always have been, crucial to this football club. I always felt I had good support here, it’s second to none through the good and the bad times.
"This is a great club and three points on a Saturday means everything to us and them. Hopefully, we can get those for them."
On his time so far at Manchester United…
"I’ve been at Manchester United for three years now and I’ve loved every minute of it there. To captain the U23s, which was one of the reasons I stayed there at the start of this season, was a huge honour and I’ve enjoyed my football.
"I was one of the oldest in the U23 set-up so it felt natural that I would lead the team. But it is time to get back out and play some men’s football again. The plan was always for me to go on loan in January. I was meant to go out on loan at the start of the season but that didn’t happen.
"I was quite happy to stay at the start of the season, and they were quite happy for me to stay so we came to that agreement. I said I’d go out on loan in January, that was always the plan and that hasn’t changed [since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over.]
"I want to get as many games as I can here and take my tally up in terms of league games.
"Being at Manchester United has certainly improved me as a player and a person a lot. It’s a great club and I thank them for everything they’ve done so far. Obviously the aim is still to get in the first-team, that’s what I want to do and I think coming back here could help me with that target.
"U23 football is all about playing from the back and that’s what I’ve got better at – my technical side has improved with playing from the back and playing nice football I suppose. But that doesn’t really matter now. Now I’m back here, three points on a Saturday is everything and I just want to get back to that."