Dale Jenkins' profiles of fellow League 2 clubs continues with our first-day opponents.
Newport County were originally formed in 1912 and competed in the Southern League before reforming and being first accepted into the Football League in 1920.
The club’s most exciting years were during the 1980s as mixed fortunes were experienced. Len Ashurst oversaw the most successful period in the club’s history as manager from 1978–1982. Newport were promoted to the Third Division in 1980 and narrowly missed out on the winning the league outright. County also won the Welsh Cup which allowed them to compete in the European Cup Winners Cup, where they reached the quarter finals before being knocked out by German side Carl Zeiss Jena FC.
After more success which saw the club reach the Second Division, the decade ended with disaster as County suffered successive relegations in 1987 and 1988, ending their sixty season stay in the Football League. The club went bankrupt during its inaugural season in the conference and went out of business in 1989 with debts of over £300,000.
In June 1989 the club was reformed by 400 supporters and Newport were elected to the Hellenic League, four divisions below the Football League. The club reformed as "Newport A.F.C." and adopted the nickname "The Exiles", as a result of the need to play the 1989–90 season home matches in North Gloucestershire. Steady success followed including promotions to the Southern Premier division before the club was renamed Newport County AFC in 1999.
After winning the Conference South in 2010 under Dean Holdsworth, Newport spent two seasons in the Conference before current manager Justin Edinburgh led the club to play-off success and a Football League return. In between, Newport County announced that they had agreed a deal to move to the city's rugby stadium, Rodney Parade, in May 2012. The ground has a capacity of 7,850 for football matches and 9,097 for rugby due to more relaxed segregation rulings. Last season saw the Exiles finished their first season back in the Football League in 14th position.
There has been little change at the club through the summer with just two players moving on and four incoming signings to date. Only defenders David Pipe and Harry Worley have exited Rodney Parade, while Darren Jones has signed from AFC Wimbledon. Kevin Feely has joined on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic, midfielder Mark Byrne signed a six month deal following his release from Barnet, while exciting midfielder Yann Klukowski agreed a transfer from Forest Green Rovers. Ex-Wycombe left back Andy Sandell has been named captain for the forthcoming season.
Wycombe travel to Rodney Parade for the season’s opening game next week on Saturday 9th August.
The return fixture at Adams Park is on Saturday 14th February 2015.