PADRAIG Amond has confirmed that one of the most successful periods in his career is over as his time with Newport County has come to an end.
Amond signed for the League 2 club in August 2017 from Hartlepool Utd and immediately made a name for himself by scoring on his debut. He went on to finish as the Welsh club’s top scorer with 14 goals but undoubtedly the highlight came in January when he headed Newport into the lead against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the FA Cup and only a late Harry Kane equaliser denied them a famous win.
The following year was even more impressive. This time he did get a winning cup goal against a Premier League team when his penalty was enough to beat Leicester City in the third round of the FA Cup. He scored one of his best goals for the The Exiles in the next round in a 2-0 win away to Championship side Middlesbrough. Amond, who had also scored in the first and second round of the FA Cup that season, then continued his brilliant run by scoring a late goal against a star-studded Manchester City to briefly give Newport hope of a huge shock before City hit back two late goals of their own to win 4-1. Amond went on to score 24 goals but the season ended in heartbreak when Newport were beaten by Tranmere Rovers after a penalty shoot-out in the Play-Off final at Wembley.
Amond was again top scorer the following season before it was cut short due to Covid but came back the following season to once more finish as top scorer for the club. However, the 2020/21 season again finished in Play-Off final heartache, this time losing 1-0 after extra-time to Morecambe in controversial circumstances.
That game at Wembley proved to Amond’s last appearance for the club as just before the start of the season he moved on loan to Exeter City, where he finally secured his ambition of achieving promotion to League 1.
Despite his goalscoring heroics during his four-year spell playing Rodeny Parade, and being adored by the club’s fans, when the time came for Newport to release him there was no grand ceremony.
“It’s a cut-throat industry,” said Amond, while speaking on the LOI Central Podcast.
“I signed five seasons ago (for Newport), I played over 200 games for them, scored 60 odd goals and I got released in a 25-second phone call. And 10 to 12 seconds of that was the manager introducing himself to me because of a change of number.
“I live three or four minutes’ away from the (Newport) training ground. I was down in Exeter for the promotion parade, with my Mam, Dad, my wife and son and I was walking to go and meet the bus.
“The phone call happened so quickly they didn’t even know I was on the phone. It doesn’t surprise me. I know what football is like. It does hurt. You can have such an affiliation and spend such a time at a club but it works both ways. You hear players get criticised for showing no loyalty but it works both ways with everyone,” he added.
Amond took to Twitter to post an emotional thank you message to the Newport County fans.
— Pádraig Amond (@padraigamond21) May 11, 2022
It’s the first time in seven years that Amond is left out of contract and he hasn’t ruled out a move back to Ireland, he revealed he was very close to signing for Sligo Rovers last January, but for the moment is happy to bide his time to see what opportunities arise.
You can listen to his interview in full on the LOI Central Podcast here.