TOWN today signed key playmaker Lee Fowler on a permanent two-and-a-half-year deal.
The 20-year-old Welshman has taken a massive pay cut to leave First Division Coventry, but he's looking forward to playing a key role in a sustained climb up the League rankings at the McAlpine.
Fowler, who has played 19 times in his three-month loan from Highfield Road, reached agreement on the remaining 18 months of his Coventry contract last night and immediately travelled north to put pen to paper for Town.
"It's a tremendous boost for us because Lee is a very talented young player who is only going to get better," said manager Peter Jackson today.
"Lee is well thought of by the players and staff, he has settled in really well and his eagerness to join us is illustrated by the fact he has taken a huge drop in wages to pull on a blue and white striped shirt.
"That's the commitment you get from Lee and I think his importance to us is shown by the fact that when we have played well this season, Lee has invariably been our man-of-the-match.
"He is tremendous on the ball, he has the vision to go with it and he's got that vital quality of aggression.
"Obviously we want to steer him away from disciplinary problems - something I'll be working through with Lee - but he's got the ability to be a big-part player at this club over the next few years and that's something I'm very excited about."
Fowler is suspended - along with Steve Yates and Efe Sodje - for Saturday's McAlpine clash with leaders Hull City but will be available when Town travel to Mansfield on Saturday week.
"I'm really pleased everything is sorted out, I can't wait to get cracking for the rest of the season and my obvious aim is to see this club go up and up," said Fowler, who is already house hunting with fiancee Lucy.
"I've really enjoyed it here this season, the lads have been great, the fans have been superb and I feel like the gaffer and Taff (Jackson and coach Terry Yorath) are my friends as well as my bosses.
"They are always there for me and I'm keen to do my best for them. It's a great feeling when you want to play for a club and you know the people in charge really want you there - it makes it great to get up in a morning."
Fowler gave up a huge bonus appearance fee to join Town on loan and has now had to fit within a tight wages budget.
"It's not about money, I just want to play," he explained.
"When I sat on the bench up at Carlisle and when I watched on TV last Sunday, I just couldn't bear not being involved.
"I've had to take a big drop in money in my settlement from Coventry, too, but the only thing I'm interested in his playing for Town and doing my best for all the fans, who have been great."
Fowler - who was on the bench in the Premiership at 16 - is one of the new brigade and, because of suspensions and injuries, Jackson reckons he will be fielding the youngest ever McAlpine Town side against Hull.
Phil Senior, of course, is ready to step in for injured Ian Gray while midfielder Chris Holland is struggling to overcome a knock.
Skipper Rob Edwards and winger John Thorrington were included in a practice match at Storthes Hall today and could well be included on the bench against Peter Taylor's side this weekend.
Jackson said: "We will have a very young team out and I am calling on all our fans to get right behind them in what is a very big match for this club.
"After the miserable run we've had away from the McAlpine, it's vital we all pull together to keep our home form going and, with all the support Hull are bringing, our own fans have a massive role."