Report by John Edwards
Photo courtesy of Stoke City
Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson has made a double breakthrough in the loan market by recruiting left-back Eddy Jones and midfielder Dan Malone from Championship club Stoke City.
Eddy, a familiar face among Alty fans after a successful loan spell at The J.Davidson Stadium towards the end of last season, and Dan (pictured) will be with the Robins until the New Year, in a move that is subject to FA and National League approval.
Both 20 and both hailing from Chester, the new loanees will add a degree of solidity and know-how to Alty's squad as Phil considers his options for Saturday's testing trip to Solihull Moors.
Central midfielder Dan worked his way up the Academy ranks at Stoke, after joining them at the age of nine, and has been a regular starter for the under-23s as well as earning international recognition for Wales at youth and under-17 levels.
Eddy has a couple of Wales under-21 caps to his name, and he underlined his credentials as a dependable defender with an aptitude for making his mark further forward when he joined Alty on loan last February and remained with us for the remainder of the season.
When both players earned new contracts at Stoke in June last year, then-Potters boss Michael O'Neill assessed their potential by saying:
"Eddy is a left-back, left wing-back and I think possibly he could play as a left-sided midfield player as well. Technically, he’s very good. He has a good physique and good stature as well.
"He’s maybe stood out more than most in training but his opportunities are a little bit different because of the players we have in that position who are ahead of him. He’s one I certainly think has a real chance.
“Young Dan Malone is a midfield player who can handle the ball. It’s a big step up in terms of coming from the under-23s to the Championship as a centre midfield player.
"He’s one of a few like Tom Sparrow and Adam Porter who have been gaining good experience at under-23 level and ones we hope to push through and challenge for a first team position.”
Great to have you back with us, Eddy, and a warm welcome to Dan - here's wishing you both a happy and successful stay in Alty colours.