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Long-serving Bennett leaves Newport County

Newport County's longest-serving player, Scot Bennett, has confirmed he has left the League Two club.

Bennett, 33, had been offered to extend his eight-year stay at Rodney Parade after his contract ended at the end of the season.

But after failing to agree a new deal, the popular Bennett has said he will now move on.

In a post on social media, Bennett said: "Unfortunately my time at Newport County has come to an end which I never thought would happen.

"As I have said many a time, I thought I would end my career here but after eight incredible seasons my amber army journey has finished for now.

"I would have liked to have made more special memories with you all and finish my career here but unfortunately I had to accept this wasn't going to be the case."

Scot Bennett shields the ball from Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes

County manager Graham Coughlan said in February he had been keen for Bennett to stay at the club, calling him "invaluable".

Able to operate in midfield and at the back, Bennett captained the side towards the end of the season, making 56 appearances over the course of the campaign.

But after being unable to agree new terms, Bennett will now be free to move on from the club he first joined on loan from Notts County in 2015, before signing permanently in 2016.

He helped the club's 'Great Escape' to avoid relegation to non-league the following year and featured in the FA Cup win over Premier League Leicester and notable games with Leeds, Tottenham, Manchester City, while making his 350th County appearance in this year's third-round clash with Manchester United.

He says leaving was "something I never saw coming and has been very tough for me to process" in his post.

Thanking supporters and staff, he added: "I am so honoured and proud to have been able to pull on the Newport County AFC shirt 367 times. I captained the club in my first year and again at the end of this season (and) I will forever be proud of this."

Having released eight players at the end of the season, contract discussions were also taking place with defender Ryan Delaney and midfielders Harry Charsley and Aaron Wildig.

Meanwhile, County have confirmed their first pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2024-25 League Two season.

They will play Championship Bristol City in a behind-closed-doors fixture at the Robins' training ground on 23 July, before facing National League North side Kidderminster at Aggborough four days later.