Ciardini future unclear as former club Farnborough make an approach

SPECULATION has risen that popular left-sided Lewes player Nic Ciardini could be on his way back to former club Farnborough after the Dorset-born player agreed to have his contrct with the Rooks cancelled due to work commitments in the south west.

Ciardini has pledged to fans on Twitter that he would continue to try and train and play as much as possible for the Sussex club after it was revealed at the start of this week that he would remain with Lewes FC as a “non-contract” player.

However, reports emerged yesterday that Farnborough boss Spencer Day had put in a seven-day request to bring him back to Cherrywood Lane.

A report on the Lewes FC website on Monday said: “Nic Ciardini, a summer signing from Farnborough has changed the status of his registration with Lewes FC due to a variation of his work commitments.

“The club has cancelled the contract of the popular left-sided player but re-signed him on a Non-Contract status.”

Ciardini explained “Work has to come first over football and I’ve been relocated during the working week to South West which stops me from attending training.

“I can’t expect the club to keep paying me what they were and have arranged to cancel my contract. However, I remain as a registered player and will be available for training as work allows, and matches as and when the gaffer needs me.”

Rooks boss Simon Wormull added “It an unfortunate situation to be in. We rate Nic very highly at the club, but understand that his work commitments take priority. He’s still registered with us and I hope that he will still be able to have a role in the run-in to the end of the season.”

However, a Hampshire website yesterday reported: “Crowd favourites Michael Charles and Nic Ciardini look set to make a popular return to Cherrywood Road to help ease Farnborough’s relegation fears.

“Striker Charles rejoined the club on an initial month’s loan from AFC Totton on Wednesday night to help solve a striker crisis at the club.

“And he is due set to be joined by fellow local boy Ciardini, after Boro boss Spencer Day put in a seven-day approach for the wide man.

“Now boss Day is hoping to land the pair permanently.”

The website Get Hampshire went on: “As for Ciardini, he (Day) added: ‘I’ve put in a seven-day for him and I’m hopeful. He has a few work issues but I’m hoping we can get around those and get him on board as soon as possible because he ticks the same boxes as Michael when it comes to workrate.’

“Day also revealed he missed out on a deal to bring a third ex-Farnborough player back to Cherrywood Road after being outbid by Bromley to sign Michael Malcolm from Lewes, despite being told the deal was done.

He said: “I’ve been very disappointed with the way the player situation has worked out, it’s been a frustrating time. I’d been chasing Michael Malcolm for about three weeks after he was transfer-listed by Lewes.

“I spoke to him and he said he wanted to come back but we just did not have the money that Lewes wanted for him and Bromley did.”

That news of Malcolm’s departure from Lewes to Bromley was confirmed by the Dripping Pan club last Friday.

The Rooks confirmed they have come to an agreement for the transfer of striker Malcolm to the Blue Square Bet South outfit.

Malcolm, who signed in July 2011 from Farnborough, following former Rooks boss Steve King from the Hampshire club, scored 13 goals in 36 appearances for The Rooks.

Lewes caretaker manager Simon Wormull revealed two weeks ago that Malcolm had been put on the transfer list by Lewes because he “was unable to commit to the new training structure at the club.”

He said travel problems and work-related issues had led to the star making the decision that he had to leave.

Wormull said: “I am disappointed to lose a player of his ability from the squad but I understand the position he was in. For the club to move forward changes had to be made and it is unfortunate that Michael could not commit to these, and we wish him well at Bromley.”

Questioned on replacement fire power, Wormull said: “ We have some feelers out there at the moment, and although unlikely for Saturday (v Wingate & Finchley), I hope to tie something up during next week.”

And also on the same day last Friday. Lewes announced they had secured the services of a new goalkeeper. The statement from the club read: “Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Ingram has joined on work experience forms, becoming the seventh goalkeeper the Rooks have signed should he play tomorrow at Wingate & Finchley (eventually called off due to a frozen pitch).

“Matt is highly-rated at Adams Park and sees the move as an opportunity to gain more experience to prepare himself for first team football.”

And the club confirmed what we reported on our back page last week, that Chris Breach was returning to the Pan after having his contract cancelled at Bognor Regis Town.

The statement read: “A warm welcome also awaits former Rook Chris Breach who rejoins Lewes after a spell at Bognor. Breach first joined the Rooks in the Conference National season in 2008, staying three seasons and collecting the Supporters’ Player of the Season trophy in 2011.”