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Interviews

REACTION | Michael Flynn: "The young players were excellent and they all had a good attitude"

1 September 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says the future is bright after several youngsters impressed in Newport County AFC’s win over Plymouth Argyle.

The Exiles got their Papa John’s Trophy campaign up and running with a 2-0 victory over the Pilgrims at Rodney Parade.

Dom Telford and Timmy Abraham got the goals for Flynn’s side, but it was a night for youth with academy products Joe Woodiwiss, Harrison Bright and Aneurin Livermore all included in the starting line up.

While Zack Maher, Ryan Hillier and Iestyn Evans, who was handed his first senior appearance, all featured in the second half.

Flynn lavished praise on County’s young guns and says their performances can provide him with a welcomed selection headache.

“They [the young players] were excellent, they had a good attitude and there was a good attitude from the senior players as well,” said Flynn. 

“Aneurin was the best player on the pitch – he was absolutely superb. He is knocking on the door because of the way that he is performing. If young players are doing it consistently then it gives me a problem, and a good one.

“I was very happy with the young lads, they all did well, but especially Aneurin. It was nice to score a couple of goals and keep a clean sheet.”

Flynn also handed debuts to loanees Ollie Cooper, 21, and 19-year-old Jake Cain, who both arrived on deadline day from Swansea City and Liverpool respectively.

The latter was replaced on the hour-mark by Hillier, while Cooper completed the full 90 minutes and provided the assist for Abraham's late strike. 

Flynn added: “They got minutes under their belts, Jake hasn’t played for a while because he has been with the first team and Ollie is another one who looked very, very good.

“Ollie can play in a number positions and so can Jake, who is a very clever footballer who is highly thought of by Liverpool.

“It’s his first loan and he has a fantastic attitude and is keen to learn, I am looking forward to working with him.”

Tuesday’s clash was the first time Flynn returned to the touchline since the 2-1 defeat against Mansfield Town following the end of his self-isolation period.

Wayne Hatswell oversaw the previous three outings against Tranmere Rovers, Southampton and Salford City, and Flynn tipped his hat to his assistant and the rest of his coaching staff who stepped up in his absence.

“It was really good of Wayne, Jarred [Harvey], Jim [James Hollman] and all of the staff to step up when needed,” said the manager. 

“That’s why I’ve got them with me because I trust them fully. I am not feeling 100 per cent and I am low on energy. It takes a while [to recover] and I’ll ease my way back in and will go again on Saturday.”


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