County prospect hunts first team breakthrough after reaping rewards of reluctant loan

PROSPECT: Lewys Twamley on the run for County in the EFL Trophy two years ago <i>(Image: Huw Evans Agency)</i>
PROSPECT: Lewys Twamley on the run for County in the EFL Trophy two years ago (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

LEWYS Twamley hopes to force his way into the first team fold at Newport County AFC next year after making an impact in amber on Tuesday afternoon.

The attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Pontypridd United in the Cymru Premier yet featured off the bench for the Exiles in their development friendly win against Swindon in midweek.

A raft of first teamers featured for both sides with Jonny Williams starting for the visitors on his return from Wales World Cup duty while club captain Matty Dolan, Nick Townsend, Robbie Willmott, Aaron Wildig, Lewis Collins and Adam Lewis were in the home line-up.

Twamley was called into action after 55 minutes and the left-footer made a telling contribution at the death when his shot was palmed into the path of Wilfried Bony to make it 2-1.

First team boss Graham Coughlan has suggested that the academy graduate, who has featured in the EFL Trophy four times, will get a crack for the Exiles in the new year, with the 19-year-old keen to grasp the chance.

“I just want to carry on playing regular football and hopefully get myself into the Newport team regularly in January and go from there,” he said.

In an interview with Sgorio, Twamley revealed that he was initially reluctant to go out on loan to Ponty after being wounded by a loan spell in 2021/22.

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He headed to Salisbury in the Southern Premier League but was a fringe figure under then boss Steve Claridge.

County manager James Rowberry convinced Twamley that heading for the Cymru Premier with defender Joe Woodiwiss would be in his best interests and the midfielder is reaping the rewards.

"It's really good to be fair, a lot better than I thought it would be," he said when asked how the loan spell was going.

"My loan last season didn't go to plan and I wasn't really playing. If I'm honest, I was a bit on edge going out on loan again but it's going well and I'm in good form.

"I like to keep close tabs on myself with numbers of goals and assists, and I think I can get a few more.

"I like the ball close to my feet, dribbling and taking players on to show what I can do. Hopefully I can get a few more goals by doing that."

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Ponty are in a relegation battle but the Wales Under-19s international has been impressed by the standard of a division that has served County well.

Three of the XI that won at Crewe last Friday – defender Priestley Farquharson, midfielder James Waite and striker Will Evans – earned their shots at Rodney Parade by playing in the Cymru Premier.

“I don't think that it's that far off, I think TNS could compete in League Two,” said Twamley. “The standard of football is really good, a lot better than I thought it was going to be.”

Ponty host Bala this weekend and have four other league games in December.