NEWPORT County AFC have signed six new first-year scholars.

Goalkeeper Evan Ovendale, right-back Harrison Bright, centre-backs Iestyn Evans and Callum Ryan-Phillips, winger Kian Pritchard and striker Ethan Morgan will link up with the Exiles under the guidance of Damien Broad, who was appointed as academy manager in December.

The prospects are based with County’s training and education partners Lliswerry High School, where they will study for two years in partnership with League Football Education while using the on-site facilities for training.


Broad said: "This is great news for the academy and I'm delighted to be able to welcome the players to the club.

"The competition for scholarships this year has been very strong and we believe that these players have shown real potential. Hopefully we will be able to help them achieve this over the next few years.

"Everybody involved at the academy has had a difficult few months and, in signing for the club, these boys as well as all our players, staff and parents can now start to look forward to the future by getting excited for our return to football.

"There are a number of great people working at the academy, which means these players will be in very good hands over the next two years in the professional development phase.

"They will have a lot of support from the coaches, analysts, sports scientists and medical staff.

"But the hard work, commitment and sacrifices they will have to make along their journey starts now."

Scholars Luis Bates, Callum Brain, Louie Cirotto, Connor Graham, Ryan Hillier, Aneurin Livermore, Zachary Maher, Lewys Twamley and Joe Woodiwiss were already under contract.

The financial impact of the coronavirus crisis will mean many lower league clubs lean heavily on academy talent while working with slimmer squads.