GLOUCESTER-born midfielder Joe Hanks has extended his loan deal with Gloucester City until the end of the season.
The 19-year-old playmaker has impressed the City fans and boss Tim Harris since joining the Tigers on loan from Whaddon Road landlords last month.
And despite Robins boss Mark Yates’ desire to throw some of his young guns in to first-team action between now and the end of the season, the two clubs have struck a deal.
Hanks won’t be available for tomorrow’s visit of Vauxhall Motors as he is still recovering from the bruised foot picked up in last week’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Oxford City.
That is bad news for City boss Harris, who could also be without midfield options Lewis Hogg, Tom Webb, Matt Roome, Adam Mann and Matt Groves for the visit of the Ellesmere Port club.
“I spoke with Mark Yates at Cheltenham this week and we’ve agreed to take Joe for the rest of the season,” Harris said.
“He will have a 24-hour recall clause as is standard with any loan deal and he is unlikely to start this weekend anyway.
“When he comes back to fitness he will be able to do a job for us and that may then mean he gets a look-in at Cheltenham.
“It’s something I know a lot about from my time at Newport, it’s difficult to get young lads a grounding in competitive football.
“They are not going to gain experience and be ready for the rough and tumble of League football by playing in development teams.
“If we can forge a good working relationship with Mark Yates at Cheltenham and we can help them get some lads some game time then great, because it will help us too.”
Vauxhall head to Whaddon Road outside the relegation zone, but having already resigned from Conference North.
Highly-rated manager Carl MacAuley has left to take a role at Skrill Premier club Chester City and a number of experienced players have also left the club.
“Vauxhall have had their problems this season but they are currently outside of the relegation zone and I am sure their players will be determined that they don’t get relegated for football reasons this season,” Harris added.