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James Waite: "When I get a chance I've just got to make the most of it."

21 January 2022

Recent County addition James Waite is relishing being back in professional football after working hard to secure his move to Rodney Parade.

Born on the outskirts of Cwmbran, Waite rose through the ranks at Cardiff City after signing for the Bluebirds at the tender age of seven. His 15 years at the club of the Welsh capital saw him work under his new boss James Rowberry while the now-22-year-old also spent time on loan at Hereford, Weston-Super-Mare and Waterford as he chased his dream of making it as a professional in the game.

Waite was let go by Cardiff last summer but immediately joined Penybont in the Welsh Premier League and shone in the first half of the season which earned him a move to County, a move made "even sweeter" given that it's his hometown club.

"Just after Christmas I got a phone call off the Penybont manager saying Newport were interested. It was a little bit of a surprise but I was buzzing and it moved fast from there. I'm delighted to be here," Waite said ahead of the trip to Scunthorpe on Saturday.

"I've known the gaffer for a long time, I was 13 when I first got coached by him and I've seen a lot of him as I went through the age groups. I was really lucky to be coached by Craig Bellamy who was a top professional himself, he looked out for me there and passed on some great information for me there.

"I was at Cardiff since I was seven. I had a few non-league loans, I said to myself I'm going to do whatever I had to do to get games under my belt and show what I can do. The main goal was to play in the Football League, that's all I thought about. It makes it even sweeter that it's my hometown club, it couldn't have worked out any better for me."

"I've always said I've had to work for everything I've got, nothing has come easy, but that's all part of the journey and it makes it even more special.

"It's always easier to come in an environment where you've known people from before. Knowing the gaffer has helped me to settle in fairly quick to get going straight away really. All the boys have been really great and really welcoming."

Waite has signed an 18-month deal at Rodney Parade and got a 30-minute debut last weekend in the 4-0 win over Harrogate after coming on as a sub after an hour.

"It was a big moment for me, it was my Football League debut as well as my Newport County debut, credit to the lads, they made it an easier game to come into with the scoreline and the way they were performing so it was great to get some minutes and I was really pleased with that.

"I just want to be settled into the squad and, when I'm called upon, do my bit and put a stamp on things really. When I get a chance I've just got to make the most of it.

"I'm quite versatile. I can play anywhere across the front three or as a 10 but my natural position is as a 10."

 


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