More striker movement in Suffolk as Cliff Akurang departs but Colchester United forward returns to a Leiston side boosted by the return of three key players leaving boss Steve Ball with a bit of a selection headache

Nnamdi Nwachuku (blue) has returned to Leiston on a one-month loan from Colchester United

Nnamdi Nwachuku (blue) has returned to Leiston on a one-month loan from Colchester United - Credit: Lucy Taylor

It is not only Lowestoft Town and AFC Sudbury who have been involved in some Suffolk striker movement over the last couple of days, Ryman Premier Division side Leiston have been at it too!

Striker Cliff Akurang (blue) has recently left Victory Road to join Hayes & Yeading

Striker Cliff Akurang (blue) has recently left Victory Road to join Hayes & Yeading - Credit: James Ager

Following the recent departure of experienced frontman Cliff Akurang, who has joined Conference South side Hayes & Yeading, boss Steve Ball has wasted no time in strengthening his front-line, with the return of Colchester United striker Nnamdi Nwachuku on a month’s loan.

Of Akurang’s departure, a mutually agreed exit between both parties after the striker struggled somewhat in his new surroundings, Ball added: “Good luck to Cliff, he’s a lovely guy, and we wish him all the best.

“Cliff wasn’t bought in to be an out-and-out goalscorer, but unfortunately we got him towards the latter of his career and he didn’t hit the form he and we would’ve liked.”

But while one door closes, another one opens as Nwachuku rekindles his partnership with Ball following a successful loan spell at Victory Road last term.

“I’m delighted to have him back,” declared Ball.

“I understand he’s been on a intense wight programme at Colchester and he’s bigger and better than before.

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“I think the experience here and at Bury (last season) will help him this time around.

“He was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights, but now he knows what is expected of him, I can’t wait to see him play because he’s an exceptional talent, and if he does well I’ve got no doubt he’ll be knocking on Tony Humes’ (New Colchester United first-team manager) door when he gets back.”

Nwachuku initially signs on loan for a month as Ball continues to seek that elusive permanent striker - something he admits is on the top of his wishlist.

“I’m happy with the squad we’ve got now that Nnamdi has signed but that position (striker) is the number one area I’m looking at,” added Ball, whose side normally play a dynamic 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formation.

“We do need a permanent solution to that, I know that, although I think to be fair that Leon Ottley-Gooch could be moulded into an excellent centre-forward the more he plays there.”

Unfortunately for Ottley-Gooch, he does struggle with injuries a little and he misses the trip today with a recurring thigh injury.

This therefore paves the way for Nwachuku to expectantly come straight into the starting 11 in attack today, while Ball is also boosted with the return to fitness of recently injured trio Tom Bullard, Patrick Brothers, and Scott Mitchell, leaving the Blues’ gaffer with a bit of a selection headache.

“I’ve got some big calls to make coming up,” declared the Leiston chief.

“Tom (Bullard) is back but he’s been out for about four-to-five weeks and I’m always a bit conscious of putting players who have had injuries like that straight in without any minutes.

“I’ve got a good squad to choose from but it’ll be a difficult game for us.”

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