London-born Dominic Poleon, Newport County’s deadline day signing from Crawley Town, could make his Exiles’ debut against Port Vale at Rodney Parade on Saturday (3pm).
Poleon, aged 26, was highly-rated by Leeds United manager Neil Warnock when the young striker was at Elland Road between 2012 and 2014, although the current Bluebirds boss had a warning for his young protege.
Warnock said teenager Poleon, who was 19-years-old, had the potential to become ‘a top player’, but said he risked his career ‘fizzling out’ without a shift in his work-rate and his approach to the game.
“Dominic could have a very good career or he could fizzle out playing in the lower divisions or in non league,” said Warnock during September 2012. “It’s up to him.
“He has things in his locker that you can’t coach or train, but he also has things in his locker which you have to change if you want to become a top player.
“That’s what I’ve been talking to him about for the past few weeks.”
Poleon made 36 first team appearances for Leeds, scoring four goals, while he has since played for Bury, Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic, AFC Wimbledon, Bradford City ands Crawley.
Warnock compared Poleon’s situation at the time to that which faced a young Victor Moses at Crystal Palace. Moses made his league debut for Palace under Warnock in 2007 and later earned transfers to Wigan Athletic and Chelsea for fees together worth more than £10m.
Poleon, who can also play in wide areas, has played at Championship or League One level most of his career and is now hoping to play a part in County’s bid for promotion from League Two.
Port Vale are at Rodney Parade this afternoon and Poleon could start with Tristan Abrahams a doubt after straining his hamstrings, while Ryan Inniss was sent off as Newport lost 5-4 to West Ham in the EFL Trophy and is facing suspension.
County defender Inniss has been charged by the Football Association following an an alleged biting offence in the EFL Trophy defeat by West Ham.
Inniss faces a three-match ban after he was sent off in the 5-4 loss at Rodney Parade on Wednesday. The punishment could increase if he is found to have bitten Reece Hannam.
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Inniss has until 6pm next Tuesday to respond and is eligible to play for Newport against Vale.
“It is alleged that his behaviour in or around the 90th minute constitutes violent conduct, in circumstances where the standard punishment that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient,” said an FA statement.
County could go top if they win against the Valiants and other results went their way.
“We have to keep doing the right things and work hard for each other,” says Flynn. “The players know the team is far more important than any individual and that’s what we are – a collective. We stick together.”