John Edwards reports
Picture courtesy of PNEFC/Ian Robinson
Phil Parkinson has reinforced a key area of his Altrincham squad after landing attacking midfielder Aaron Bennett from Preston North End on loan.
The highly-rated 18-year old will spend the rest of the week getting to know his new team-mates at Alty’s Egerton training ground ahead of Saturday’s Vanarama National League opener against Maidstone United at The J.Davidson Stadium.
His arrival on a three-month loan, in a move that is subject to FA and National League approval, could not have been better timed after the Robins had their midfield resources depleted by a double injury setback.
Matty Kosylo and Isaac Marriott have both succumbed to knee ligament injuries that will keep them on the sidelines for some time, but Alty boss Parkinson has responded swiftly to ensure the Robins remain well served in that crucial area of the pitch.
He recently recruited Chris Conn-Clarke on loan from Fleetwood Town until early January, and he has now snapped up exciting prospect Bennett for the next three months.
The flame-haired Wales Youth international suffered a knee ligament injury himself last season but returned to action in some style in the New Year with a return of 11 goals from 12 under-19 appearances that earned him his first professional contract a couple of months ago.
Bennett rounded off his scoring spree with a hat-trick that included an unstoppable long-distance thunderbolt and a perfectly-executed volley in an 8-1 demolition of Port Vale that confirmed Preston’s youngsters as EFL Youth Alliance champions.
Soon after, he was signing a one-year professional contract, with an option for a further 12 months, manager Ryan Lowe saying: “We’ve been very happy with the way Aaron’s returned from injury and he’s been scoring plenty of goals in that attacking eight role with the Academy. He’s got talent, hasn’t he?”
As those impressive scoring statistics suggest, Aaron can also operate as a striker, and he has set his sights on pressing for a first-team spot at Deepdale by the end of the forthcoming season.
Let’s hope you take a significant step towards achieving that goal during your time in Alty colours, Aaron - all the best for a happy and successful stay with the Robins.