FORMER Newport County AFC striker Lenell John-Lewis is more frustrated than most players by the suspension of football due to the coronavirus, but he's keeping fit and staying positive at home.

The 30-year-old forward was just hitting his stride with National League North side Hereford, after several injury-ravaged seasons at County and Shrewsbury Town, when football ground to a halt earlier this month.

"It's a shame because I was really enjoying playing regularly and starting games," said John-Lewis, who signed for Hereford in January after being released by League One Shrewsbury.

"I've missed that match-day feeling and it's been great getting amongst the goals again.

"I'm out of contract this summer and I was looking to stay at Hereford, but we'll see what happens now.

"Anyone that knows me knows I'm a very positive person and I'm sure we'll get to the other side of this and get back playing sooner rather than later."

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John-Lewis scored five goals in 34 appearances for County between 2015 and 2017 and he has fond memories of his time at Rodney Parade.

"Terry Butcher signed me and he's the nicest man I've ever met in football," he recalled.

"He was a real gentleman and we all enjoyed playing for him. We played some good stuff but the results didn't come, sadly.

"John Sheridan came in and he added a bit more intensity to training and got us up the table a little bit and then Warren Feeney took over.

"I was injured for the first few months of his time in charge but he was a good manager and he helped us beat relegation.

"I was looking forward to the new season and then I had the first of the calamities with my knee in pre-season.

"The physio Miles Warren was great and he really helped me a lot.

"Graham Westley was good to me when he came in. He let me do my own thing as I was recovering and he gave me time off with the family at Christmas, which I appreciated."

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John-Lewis returned from injury for the final two games of the club's Great Escape from relegation and he's full of praise for current boss Michael Flynn, who replaced Westley in March 2017.

"Flynny lifted the whole club when he came in and, watching from the outside, there was a real buzz to training that just wasn't there under Westley," he explained.

"There was a real good intensity and the atmosphere was so much better. The players were enjoying it again.

"I came back for the Carlisle game and then I started against Notts County.

"I felt sharp in training and I was raring to go and, obviously, Flynny saw that."

The Exiles beat Notts County 2-1 to stay up on the final day of the season thanks to Mark O'Brien's unforgettable late winner.

"I won the penalty [to put County 1-0 up] and I wanted to take it but Mickey [Demetriou] was on it quickly and I couldn't really say anything having been out for so long.

"We were all feeling good and we felt we'd win it after that.

"But 70 minutes was way too long for me and soon after I came off, Hartlepool scored."

County were level at 1-1 and relegation rivals Hartlepool United took a shock 2-1 lead over Doncaster Rovers, meaning Flynn's men were down unless they could find a winner in the final few minutes.

"It went very quiet on the bench and the whole ground went flat," said John-Lewis. "We were just hoping for a miracle at that point.

"When Mark O'Brien popped up with that goal it was just pure elation. I've no idea where he pulled that from but it was incredible.

"We went out that night and I lost my wallet but I've still got the pictures on my phone and I still look at them."

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That proved to be John-Lewis' final match in County colours as he rejected a new deal in favour of a move to Shrewsbury that summer.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my two years in Newport and I'm still in touch with a lot of the players," he said.

"Scott Boden and Mark Byrne are two of my closest friends.

"It was a tough decision to leave but it was the right thing for me at the time. I knew it was time for a change.

"My missus wanted to get back up north, it was a League One club and the financial package was better so it made sense.

"And we got to the play-off final in my first season at Shrewsbury.

"Since then it's been injury after injury but I always try to find the positives in everything and that's what we all have to do."

A fitting message for everyone in these troubled times.