Report by John Edwards
Picture by Jonathan Moore
Altrincham are delighted to welcome a familiar face back to The J.Davidson Stadium after agreeing a loan deal for Harrogate Town centre-back Kyle Ferguson.
The 23-year old will be with Alty for the next month and has signed in time for Saturday's Vanarama National League fixture with Wealdstone at Grosvenor Vale, where the Robins will be looking to extend their four-match unbeaten run.
It's a timely return for Kyle, with James Jones serving a one-game ban following his red card at Yeovil on Tuesday night, and one that is sure to be popular with Alty fans, who took the towering 6ft 5in defender to their hearts for his uncompromising commitment and composure towards the end of last season.
Alty boss Phil Parkinson snapped him up from Waterford last February, and there was an early indication of what lay in store for opposing forwards when, in an interview with Alty TV shortly after signing, he said:
'Some players love scoring goals - I love making tackles and blocks and winning headers. I like the aggressive side of the game, going for headers and tackles, and I think I'm a good organiser.'
The son of former Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson, Kyle had to wait patiently for a chance in the starting line-up, but when it arrived, he never looked back, helping Alty to a notable 1-0 home win over Chesterfield on his full debut on Tuesday March 22nd and going from strength to strength in the weeks that followed.
Alty fans marvelled at his strength, aggression and reliability, and there were statistics to back up the perception that the Robins had unearthed a defensive diamond, with Kyle winning 87 per cent of his aerial duels, the best ratio in the National League.
In all, he made eight appearances in the starting line-up and one as substitute, and it came as a blow to the Robins when Harrogate stepped in during the summer and offered him an opportunity to test himself in League Two.
Though he hasn't always been a regular starter for Simon Weaver's side, his self-belief has never wavered, as underlined in December when he returned to the team after a three-month absence and was described as 'magnificent' by the Harrogate manager for completely subduing experienced striker Scott Quigley in a 4-1 win at Rochdale.
Welcome back, Kyle, and here's hoping for more of the same in Alty colours over the next month.