Tom Clapp continued as captain in 1885-86 but interestingly there was a hint of criticism of the side in the press with comments about "not adhering to training and regular practices". The stock was good and the committee felt that with an early start to training the following season the team would regain its place as the Premier Team in the Principality.
Notable new players who showed up well were Jim Hannan, Charlie Thomas and Tom Lockwood and all eventually won Welsh caps. Interestingly Tom Lockwood came to Newport because his father was joint architect of Newport Town Hall which was built in 1885. He was a fine forward.
This season Cardiff adopted the 4 three-quarters system under Frank Hancock's captaincy but Newport, although they had tried this, stuck with 3 three-quarters and three halves. 6 games of the 19 played were lost, these were Batley (H), Llanelly(A) - twice, Cardiff - double and Llanelly for a third time - this time in the Cup.