‘Unfinished business’ for non-league striker John Sands as he makes a sensational return to Bury Town

John Sands (blue) has made a sensational return to Bury Town

John Sands (blue) has made a sensational return to Bury Town - Credit: Andy Abbott

John Sands has made a sensational return to former club Bury Town.

John Sands celebrating scoring a goal for Bury Town against Wingate & Finchley

John Sands celebrating scoring a goal for Bury Town against Wingate & Finchley - Credit: Andy Abbott

The non-league striker has signed dual registration forms with the Ryman Premier Division strugglers after agreeing a deal with parent club Chelmsford City.

Sands, a popular figure at Ram Meadow in a previous spell where he scored 59 goals in 105 appearances, only joined Vanarama Conference South side Chelmsford last month, but has seen his progress and opportunity held back by injury.

A double hernia that needs operating on as well as a nasty rib injury has hampered Sands’ impact at a higher level (the striker has made just one Clarets start since his arrival), with all parties agreeing that game time in a league below the Conference South could benefit him in the long run.

“I had a chat with Mark (Hawkes, the Chelmsford boss) and we decided that the best thing for me to do was to go out and get some games,” admitted Sands, who is playing through the pain barrier as he actively looks for an operation date again after rejecting surgery originally scheduled for December 18.

“Chelmsford initially wanted me to delay the operation until the summer, but we’ve since agreed it makes sense to get it out of the way as soon as possible,” explained the striker, who is also suffering from a rib injury sustained following a hefty challenge in action for the Clarets.

“Both are holding me back and my body is feeling a bit beaten up at the moment.

Most Read

“The plan is to look for a operation date that suits while trying to help Bury get out of the trouble.

“I’ve worked with Ben (Chenery, Bury boss) and Christian (Appleford, Chenery’s assistant) before and they’ve vowed to get the best out of me – and like they’ve said to me, to get ‘the John Sands’ back scoring goals.

“I’ve got unfinished business at Bury that’s for sure, and I am really looking forward to it.

“It’s a great club, and Ben has got a good team together, they just need a finishing touch and hopefully I can give them that.”

If Sands does find a suitable operation date, he is likely to be out of action for approximately eight weeks, when the provisional plan is to rebuild his fitness and sharpness up again afterwards, before returning to the Clarets towards the back end of the season.

Sands added: “Chelmsford are doing very well, and it’s a shame not to be among it, but it’s football and hopefully I will be.”

Sands is unlikely to be fit enough for selection against VCD this Saturday, but could make his ‘re-debut’ for Bury in the Boxing Day derby against Leiston.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter