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INTERVIEW | Jamie Devitt: "I know a lot about the club through Mark O'Brien"

19 October 2020

Jamie Devitt says his relationship with former Newport County AFC defender Mark O'Brien was a key factor in his decision to join the club.

The versatile midfielder made a loan switch to Rodney Parade from Blackpool on deadline day and will link up with the Exiles until January 2021.

Devitt, who was born in Ireland, grew up in Ballyfermot, Dublin, on the same street as O'Brien and has stayed in touch with the defender ever since.

And the midfielder, who has played alongside Padraig Amond, Kevin Ellison and Michael Flynn, revealed it was previous conversations with O'Brien that led to him taking an interest in the club.

"I know Mark really well and I grew up with him when we were kids," said Devitt.

"Our houses were literally facing each other and I’m really close with his brother too. I know a lot about the club through Mark and I used to play with Padraig Amond, Kevin Ellison and the gaffer too.

"I see the club quite a lot on social media and it’s a club that is going in the right direction.

"I knew that when I was going to be coming down to sign, I spoke to the players and they had nothing but good things to say about the place. It helps straight away when you can come down and mix in straight away."

Devitt has spent the majority of his career playing his trade in League Two and has come up against the Exiles on nine previous occasions.

But it was one particular game - the 2012/13 National League play-off semi-final first leg - that Devitt recalls out of his previous meetings against the club.

He was on the receiving end of a defeat as the Exiles sealed a 1-0 victory over his former side Grimbsy Town before progressing through to the play-off final with a 2-0 aggregate win. 

Despite the defeat, Devitt, who was on loan from Hull City, left an impression on the late Justin Edinburgh, who wanted to bring the midfielder to County.

“I think the first time that I played against Newport was in the National league play-offs," he recalls.

"It was at the time when Justin was in charge. I got on really well with him and he asked me to sign for the club just after that, but I was still contracted to Hul City.

"You could see then that it was a club which was going places."

Devitt was unable to get his move to the Exiles under Edinburgh in 2013, but he was finally confirmed as a Newport County AFC player on deadline day this summer.

And will finally re-join manager Flynn - his former team-mate during their time together at Bradford City - until January 2021.

“When the opportunity came up I just wanted to get it done as quickly as I could.

“The manager showed how much he wanted me, so I can only repay him for that by putting in good performances and getting wins for the team.

“I’ve played in League Two for most of my career now and it’s a league that you can get out of if you can put some consistency together. I think the squad here is very good and I don’t see why we can’t get out of this league."

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