Report by John Edwards
Picture courtesy of Colchester United
Altrincham have pulled off a second exciting loan signing in quick succession after completing a move for versatile Colchester United midfielder Alex Newby, subject to FA, EFL and National League approval.
Gerald Sithole's arrival from Bolton Wanderers on a one-month loan was announced at midday today, and the club have now further reinforced their attacking options by landing one-time Robins favourite Elliot Newby's twin brother Alex until the New Year.
It's a significant double breakthrough for manager Phil Parkinson, who is without Regan Linney for the next few weeks and Ollie Crankshaw for the rest of the season but who can now consider the claims of both Sithole and Newby as he prepares for Saturday's Vanarama National League fixture with Ebbsfleet United at The J.Davidson Stadium.
Newby arrives with an impressive pedigree at Football League level after taking the eye for Rochdale and Colchester as a free-scoring winger who can also play in central midfield.
After starting out in Bolton's youth set-up, Alex had spells with Barrow, Kendal Town and Clitheroe before signing for Chorley in February 2018 and enhancing his reputation as a crowd-pleasing winger with a penchant for scoring spectacular goals.
He won goal of the year in each of his three seasons at Victory Park, where he scored 24 times in 94 appearances and helped the Magpies to promotion to the Vanarama National League in 2019.
His prolific form earned him a move to Rochdale, in League One at the time, and he fully justified his two-year deal with a return of 13 goals in 82 outings before joining Colchester in July last year, announcing his arrival by saying:
"I'm an attacking player. I like to dribble with the ball and be positive in possession and get at teams and make things happen and bring goals and assists to games. I think I'm a really positive player who can help excite the fans."
He was a regular for Colchester last season, scoring three goals in 34 appearances, and has played in two of the 18th-placed side's games in League Two so far this season.
Now Alty have snapped him up on a deal that will run until January 2nd, and Alex will doubtless be keen to emulate the impact his brother made during two loan spells with the Robins, particularly the second one, when he scored in four successive games in November and December last year.
Welcome to The J.Davidson Stadium, Alex, and here's hoping you have a happy and successful time as an Alty player.