Josh Jirbandey has returned to Hastings United Football Club in time for the final five games of the Ryman League Division One South season.
The central defender arrived back in the country from his studies in the United States on Wednesday and will be available for the Easter programme.
United manager Nigel Kane said: “Josh is a quality player and he’s provided us with a boost at the right time. He’s a winner and he’s a natural leader. He’s dangerous from set-pieces as well and has scored some important goals for us.”
Jirbandey’s arrival comes at a good time for the U’s as several other defenders are struggling with injury or suspension.
Matt Caley looks like being out for the rest of the season with an Achilles/calf problem and Harvey Hanifan may well not be fit enough to return until next weekend. Richard Rose is banned for two games after the Easter weekend.
Further forward, Ade Olorunda starts a four-game suspension, and Kyle Holden are Ola Rabiu are struggling with injury.
Sam Adams is back this weekend after missing last weekend’s 1-1 draw away to Tooting & Mitcham United due to work, and there’s a good chance he will play up-front.
First on the agenda for United is a visit from sixth-placed Herne Bay tomorrow (Saturday).
“We’re under no illusions about the size of the task on Saturday,” said Kane. “Herne Bay have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine away games, but if we can replicate the performance from last weekend, we will certainly give them a good game.”
United will then turn their attentions to a proverbial six-pointer away to Ramsgate on Monday. The Rams are two places and one point below United with a game in hand. Ramsgate will be playing their third game in six days, which Kane hopes will give United an edge.
Hastings United’s remaining fixtures: April 4 Herne Bay (h), April 6 Ramsgate (a), April 11 South Park (a), April 18 Faversham Town (h), April 25 Walton & Hersham (a).