Thursday, 6 June 2013

County bring two in to start summer recruitment

Newport County have snapped up free agent Chris Zebroski and Oxford midfielder Adam Chapman.

Manager Justin Edinburgh started his club’s preparations for the Football League by bringing in two players with huge experience at that level, and hinted that more may be on the way.

The Exiles boss returned from a family holiday to put the final touches to the deals and make them his first signings since County’s magical play-off victory over Wrexham at Wembley that saw the club seal promotion.

Zebroski (26) started at Plymouth Argyle and subsequently turned out for Millwall, Torquay United and Bristol Rovers.

He spent the first half of last season at Cheltenham Town before leaving due to disciplinary problems, and finished it at Eastleigh Town in the Blue Square Bet Conference South, scoring three goals in four appearances.

He signs a one-year deal at Rodney Parade, and paid tribute to his new team-mates for negotiating their way out of a “hard league” over the past 10 months.

“Any team coming out of that league last season must be good,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to playing here.

“The boss has put a lot of faith in me and I want to repay him with performances and goals and give him 100 per cent. I can’t wait for the season to start.

“I know a few of the players that played at Bristol which obviously helps me to settle in to the club and they are a good bunch of lads as well.”

Chapman (23) previously spent a month on loan at County during 2012 and fans will know what to expect from the talented midfielder. He has been handed a two-year contract, with the option of a third on the table after County paid a five-figure fee for him.

He has spent most of his career at Oxford United, where he spent time in a young offenders’ institute on a death by dangerous driving charge, but spent the second half of last season on loan at Blue Square Bet Premier winners Mansfield Town, starring as The Stags sealed their own return to the Football League.

Chapman also indicated Edinburgh had been instrumental in the Yorkshire-born playmaker coming to South Wales, as Mansfield had also wanted him permanently, and he can’t wait to bring his young family down to the area.

He said: “The manager was a massive part of it. Me and him stayed in contact since I was last here and he got in touch after the play-off final and seemed really keen. I was really interested from then on.

“You could see he had plans to move this place forward in the month I was last here and I genuinely believed it. Now, 18 months down the line the proof is here.

“Me and my girlfriend are looking at houses. With the length of the contract it allows me to settle down and bring my boy up.”

Edinburgh was delighted to seal the deals, saying the two had been “on top of the list” with regards to his Football League plans.

He said: “Adam and Chris were number one targets in the positions that we were looking for and I am more than pleased to acquire both their signatures.”

He also hinted that a third deal, possibly for a defender, was close to completion and could be in place over the next week, but added there was “no magic number” when it came to their summer recruitment plans, and they would seek the right players when are where they became available.


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