SAY hello to Phil Jevons, wave goodbye to Lucas Akins – but only for the time being!
Town manager Andy Ritchie, who handed Akins his first-team debut down at Northampton late last season, was quick to point out the teenage frontman’s loan move to Northwich Victoria is for educational purposes, and that he still has a bright future at the Galpharm.
“Lucas is still a developing player, and this move means he will get regular football of a good standard,” said Ritchie.
“The Blue Square Premier, which most people will know as the Conference, is pretty much an extension of the Football League.
“And Northwich is relatively close to Huddersfield, so it means we can keep an eye on how he is progressing.
“I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted some of our younger lads to go out on loan to broaden their experience.
“It gets them out of the comfort zone, if you like, and it’s always interesting to see how they react.
“I was pleased when Northwich’s manager, Dino Maamria, came in and asked about Lucas, and I’m happy to have got the loan sorted out before Thursday’s deadline.
“It’s for a month initially, and we’ll see how things stand for both ourselves and Northwich after that.
“I’ve talked it all through with Lucas, and he seems really fired up about the move.”
The 18-year-old, who has made four substitute outings this season, taking his overall tally of appearances to six, all from the bench, has recovered from a nagging ankle injury.
He’ll be plunged into a crisis situation at Northwich.
Older fans will remember the Vics giving Town a scare in the first round of the FA Cup back in 1980-81, drawing 1-1 at Drill Field before slumping 6-0 in the Leeds Road replay.
These days they play at the new Victoria Stadium and are struggling at the foot of the Blue Square Premier with just three points to their credit.
They parted company with Hade Edge-based manager Neil Redfearn earlier in the season and staved off a winding-up order.
New owners are close to coming on board and Maamria, who is a former Tunisian Under 21 international and much travelled in non-league circles, is determined to keep Vics at their current level.
Akins is one of three players signed on loan this week, with Crewe’s Nick Farquharson and Rotherham’s Natt Kerr also coming on board in time for today’s visit of Rushden.
Maamria has also recruited former Manchester City junior Adam Morning from Bradford Park Avenue.