YORK City have signed Gainsborough Trinity winger Adam Smith for a small fee and he will go straight into the squad for tonight’s Blue Square Premier clash at Altrincham.
Smith, who has agreed terms until the summer of 2010, scored two goals in seven games during an impressive one-month loan stay with City before returning to Gainsborough early in the New Year.
Minstermen boss Martin Foyle expressed an immediate desire to secure his services on a permanent basis and, after prolonged talks, Gainsborough chairman Peter Swann has now agreed to a deal despite the Press understanding that Oxford United were also interested in the former Chesterfield player.
Foyle said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to capture Adam’s signature at last. He’s made it clear that he loves the club and wants to be part of my future plans.
“He could have gone elsewhere but he’s desperate to be part of the set-up here and is a great addition to the playing squad going into next season. He gives us pace and width and is eligible for tonight’s game.
“He’s not played for three weeks, though, so we’ve got to be a little careful on that front.”
Skipper Mark Greaves, meanwhile, could be missing for up to six weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered at Eastbourne on Saturday but Ben Purkiss will return at right-back following his stomach problem.
Foyle will also monitor David McGurk’s fitness today before deciding whether to recall the Press Player of the Year leader following his calf muscle injury.
If McGurk is unavailable, then Kyle Critchell is set to carry on in the centre of defence again after filling in for Greaves at Eastbourne. Foyle said: “Ben Purkiss is fine and will give us a bit of height which I think we need in the back four. He’s also good on the ball and in his build-up play, which we’ve been missing a little bit.
“We have new faces trying to work out each other’s game but I’m sure Ben will just slot back in. David McGurk is touch and go and we’ll know a bit more this morning.
“It’s a possibility that Kyle Critchell will play there again. That all depends on Dave.
“Critch played most of his career there for Weymouth and started out at Southampton in that position where he can give you mobility.”
Teenage striker Adam Boyes is also poised to make his full debut, having risen above the likes of Craig Farrell, Onome Sodje and Daniel McBreen in the pecking order for an attacking place alongside top scorer Richard Brodie.
Foyle added: “I think Adam’s ready now. He gave a good display on Saturday and held the ball up well, which we haven’t been doing well.
“He looked fresh and wants to run around so he’s given me food for thought.”
About the challenge of mid-table Altrincham, who drew 1-1 at table-topping Burton on Saturday but have lost their last three home matches and shipped ten goals in the process, Foyle said: “At home, when they are expected to go forward to try to win games, they have had similar problems to us so we need to start well.”
Altrincham (probable): Coburn, Lane, Young, McGregor, Doughty, Smith, Lawton, Densmore, Peyton, O’Neill, Johnson.
Subs: Ralph, Meechan, Hadfield, Denham, Danylyk.
City (probable): Ingham, Purkiss, Critchell, Parslow, Robinson, Brown, Mackin, C Smith, McWilliams, Brodie, Boyes.
Subs: Mimms, Kelly, Wilkinson, A Smith, Sodje.
Referee: Lee Metcalfe (Lancashire).