Last season blew hot and cold for Newport County, a dreadful start saw the relegation zone beckon in the opening weeks, before transforming their form and looking like a play off team once again. Whatever happens this season, Terry Butcher will hope to find more consistency out of his totally reshaped side.
Many of the names recruited over arrive from non league, Alex Rodman and Scott Boden are the names expected to lead the line under Butcher, both little experience at Football League level, something that could be crucial should the Exiles find themselves in a relegation dogfight.
In Terry Butcher they have a manager that will fight for every point, and not let his players rest until they understand his ambitions. Butcher will want to go for promotion but I do wonder whether that is possible in his first season in charge. The former England captain has had plenty of jobs north of the Scottish border, but found himself in charge of an Football League club less often. This will be his first crack at League Two, and I feel he will need to adjust to his surroundings before getting comfy in the top six.
Another issue I can see, is the amount of names that have been drafted in during the Summer. Only 9 players from last season have survived the cull as Butcher searches to imprint his style into the team. It was a surprise to many fans to see Medy Elito back in the Football League after a year away in the Netherlands, with VVV Venlo. The explosive midfielder requested a move away from Dagenham and Redbridge last summer, but after failing to settle in on the 1st June joined Newport on a free transfer. He will add artistic flair and fancy footwork to the midfield but has never really been much of a warrior, something Butcher will be keen to instill in his players.
Despite entering last season as a relative unknown, Kevin Feely impressed in his debut season with Newport County. Some may be taken back by the emergence of the 22-year-old, but it is no shock to me. As a youngster Feely attracted the attention if Everton and Peterborough United, two clubs renown for nurturing their youth with the greatest of success. Feely has become a leader from the back in spite of his age, most of this being down to the consistency of his game time, this is credit to the managers for believing in a player that could now go from strength to strength.