18-year-old Kiban Rai, from Brecon has signed his first professional contract with Newport County Football Club.

He has become the first player of Nepalese heritage to sign a professional contract in the English Football League.

Kiban joined Newport's academy in 2021 after being scouted by them whilst playing for Brecon Corries.

After earning a scholarship contract at the club, Kiban went on to make four appearances in the first team last season in the league, making his debut against Salford City.

Kiban Rai
(nicnacnoopixs / Newport County Football Club)

On the final day of the season, Newport manager, Graham Coughlin gave Kiban his first start against Crewe Alexandra, partnering Newport's top goal scorer, Omar Bogle, up front in a 2-2 draw.

In a recent interview on Newport County's Youtube channel, Kiban said: "It's been a dream of mine since I was a young boy and to do what I love full-time and to be given this opportunity is great, so I couldn't be happier."

Kiban was asked about his Nepalese heritage and playing for the Welsh or Nepalese national team during the interview. He said: "Playing internationally is a dream of mine. Hopefully, whether it is for Wales or Nepal, I'll be able to do it.

"Hopefully for young players who are aspiring to be footballers from a Nepalese background I can inspire them just a little bit then that would be amazing."

Kiban Rai
(nicnacnoopixs / Newport County Football Club)

Newport finished 15th in League Two last season, and will face the likes of fellow Welsh club Wrexham FC next season, owned by Hollywood actors' Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, after they gained promotion from the National League.

The League Two side's manager, Graham, has admitted that this will be a big pre-season for Kiban and he will gain more valuable experience in the upcoming season, whether that is with the first team or out on loan.