Boost for Alty as Phil snaps up livewire winger

Report: John Edwards

Picture: Jonathan Moore

Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson has increased his attacking options by snapping up former AFC Wimbledon attacking midfielder Egli Kaja on a short-term deal.

The 25-year old Albanian is predominantly a right-winger but can play on either flank or as a second striker, and he goes straight into the Robins’ squad for tomorrow’s Vanarama National League fixture with Yeovil Town at The J.Davidson Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

His direct style and attacking flair caught the eye of Alty fans at the Robins’ Moss Lane headquarters at the end of last month when he went on as a second-half substitute against Manchester United under-23s and hit the bar with a spectacular curling shot.

He joined National League South Hampton & Richmond Borough on a non-contract basis a few days later but needed no second invitation to return to the north-west to bolster Alty’s squad when the opportunity arose.

Kaja received his first international call-up with Albania under-21s in May, 2017, midway through a four-year stint with AFC Wimbledon that ended when he moved to Northampton Town.

He was back at Plough Lane on a short-term deal last November, with AFC Wimbledon’s then-manager Mark Robinson underlining his capabilities when fully fit by saying:

“He can play wide left or right, or off a forward as well, so it’s perfect. He’s quick, he’s powerful, and he can play with both feet - he’s very direct and loves to get at people.

“He has a great change of pace and has played at this level. He’s also played in the Scottish Premier League and it’s just injuries that have held him back. Without his injury problems, I don’t think we would have had the opportunity to sign him as he would be playing higher.”

Now he has the chance to prove himself in Alty colours, after spending time with the squad at their Egerton training ground during pre-season, and everyone at the club wishes him a happy and successful stay at The J.Davidson Stadium.