INFLUENTIAL Matty Dolan has signed a new two-year contract with Newport County AFC – with manager Michael Flynn declaring there is plenty more to come from the midfielder-turned-defender.

The Exiles have agreed a fresh deal with the 28-year-old, who is the leading candidate for their player of the season in the push for promotion from League Two.

Dolan moved from midfield to the heart of defence and has impressed with his ability to build from the back.

The left-footer has made 166 appearances for the club since arriving from Yeovil in 2017 and is thrilled to have earned a new contract.

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"I'm over the moon because I've played a lot of games for the club and we've gone from strength to strength since I've been here,” said Dolan, who is looking to break back into the starting line-up against Cheltenham tomorrow after recovering from a concussion.

“I'd like to think I've performed well enough to earn a new contract this year, so I'm pleased to get it all sorted.

"The loyalty that the club has shown towards me has been a big thing for me and my family. I've felt welcomed since I first came here and I'll be looking to help this club keep progressing over the next two years while I'm here.”

Flynn hailed Dolan’s workrate – with the boss never needing to give his defender a kick up his sizable backside.

“Matty is a hard worker, he is no trouble and gets on with it,” said Flynn. He has standards that he demands from the rest of his teammates. It's a well-earned contract.

“I have spoken to him and he still needs to keep an eye on his weight. He is unfortunate that he has a backside like mine that doesn't always look great in a football kit for a professional player!

“He is actually in good nick and is a lot fitter than he looks!”

Free Press Series: Matty Dolan battles with Newcastle's Andy CarrollMatty Dolan battles with Newcastle's Andy Carroll

On where Dolan can improve, Flynn replied: “There is defending one on one but it’s more about staying fully focused for the whole season.

“He is a fantastic footballer who reads the game so well. Technically, he is very good but we can all improve and I am sure he will.”

County are slowly building their squad for next season, whether they are in League One or League Two.

Nick Townsend recently signed a two-year deal and defender Priestley Farquharson and forwards Padraig Amond and Dom Telford are also under contract.

Flynn hopes County will be able to follow the lead of their weekend opponents, who head to Rodney Parade with promotion secured.

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“Cheltenham go to show what continuity in a club does,” he said. “They have managed to keep all of their big players together - Will Boyle, Ben Tozer, Chris Hussey - even after the disappointment of losing in the play-offs last season.

“They have reaped the rewards. We haven't always managed to do that but hopefully getting Matty done and Nick done, a couple of others will follow.”