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Gloucester City sign midfielder Joe Hanks on loan from Cheltenham Town

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

Joe Hanks in action for Cheltenham Town's youth team against Tottenham Hotspur last season

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GLOUCESTER-born Joe Hanks is poised to make his Gloucester City debut at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.

The former St Peter’s High School pupil joined the Tigers on loan from landlords Cheltenham Town yesterday to replace Oxford City-bound Darren Mullings.

Midfielder Hanks, 19, has made one substitute appearance for the Robins but excelled in a loan stint with neighbours Bishop’s Cleeve in the Southern League.

A Churchdown neighbour of City boss Tim Harris, Hanks jumped at the chance to continue his football development after putting pen to paper on an initial 28-day loan stint.

“Joe is a big lad and is desperate to get out and get some games under his belt,” Harris said.

“He’s looking forward to the challenge and him being a Churchdown boy like me, that can only be a good thing!

“He’s got talent but has perhaps struggled to get a chance at Cheltenham, but it’s pleasing that I am able to give him that opportunity to see what he can do.”

Former Torquay United midfielder Mullings completed a move to City’s relegation rivals Oxford on Thursday night, ending a four-year stint with the Tigers.

Oxford put in a seven-day approach for the former Torquay United midfielder last week and Mullings initially rebuffed the offer.

But when Oxford boss Mike Ford upped the stakes in the last few days Mullings’ head was turned.

He was not on a contract with the Tigers owing to a long-standing shoulder problem – one that forced him to miss virtually the whole of the 2012-13 season – so City could not prevent the move.

Disappointed to lose a key component of his side, City boss Tim Harris explained that once Oxford made Mullings a “very, very good” offer to move, he was powerless to stop him.

Harris said: “Oxford put in seven days for Darren and he told me last week that he wasn’t going, but he told me on Thursday morning that he had changed his mind.

“That’s only down to one thing and I will be disappointed to lose him and especially to a rival of ours.

“He’s jumping from one relegation scrap to another and they are rewarding him handsomely for that.

“I understand that he has a young family and he has to look after himself, but it’s still a blow.

“They have made him a very, very good offer financially and that’s not a route that I want to go down. If he wants to leave the club to help his young family then I can live with that.”

Hanks will be joined in the City squad for the trip to Gainsborough by fellow new recruit Jake Gosling, who completed a loan move from Exeter City on Thursday.

Bristol City midfielder Jordan Goddard and Swindon Town striker Connor Waldon will complete their maximum 93 day loan periods with the club after Tuesday's trip to Brackley Town.

Harris confirmed that winger Matt Groves will miss the trip to Gainsborough as he has tonsilitis, but record-appearance maker Tom Webb is set to return to the squad after overcoming a long-standing back/hamstring problem.

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