After a day spent cutting his way through FA red tape, Geoff Butler is hoping to parade a new central defender when the Terras host Cambridge City tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
Gethin Jones in his Cardiff coloursButler, anxious to find cover for club skipper Alex Browne before the Terras enter the FA Cup next week, will today complete the loan signing of Cardiff City’s highly-rated, Welsh-speaking 21-year-old Gethin Jones.
“It took a lot of sorting out because the situation was complicated by the fact that we had to get international clearance,” said Butler.
“It all revolves around the transfer window that FIFA introduced which has now closed for a few months. But it turns out it doesn’t apply to non-League clubs or loans and eventually after the Welsh FA and Football League said they were happy to approve the loan, our FA also gave clearance.”
Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence has given the Terras permission to play Jones in next week’s FA Cup tie at Chippenham and with Browne struggling to shake off a hamstring injury that was a great relief to Butler.
“Lennie has been great about it and I am now keeping my fingers crossed that the lad, who initially agreed to come after I watched him play for Cardiff Reserves against Northampton in the week and then had second thoughts before discussing the move with his parents, won’t change his mind again. He didn’t have a great deal to do defensively against Northampton, who fielded a very young side, but I know he is highly regarded at Cardiff and they don’t want to let him leave permanently.”
Jones, who can also play at right-back, joined the Bluebirds from League of Wales side Carmarthen Town in September 2000. To date he has made three Third Division substitute appearances and also played a full game against Crystal Palace in the League Cup.
A busy Butler had also hoped to include a new striker tomorrow – but that now looks unlikely.
“I had agreed a deal with a forward currently with a Conference side,” he explained. “But after his manager okayed the loan he changed his mind at the last minute because of the travelling involved. I will be speaking to him again today but I’m not holding out much hope. My big worry is that with Chris Giles going back to Yeovil after tomorrow’s game we would be very short up front if Lee Phillips were to get a knock. But there is only so much you can do and without exaggeration I must have spoken to more than 20 clubs in the past few days to find out if anyone was available. All they had to offer really was youngsters who might be OK in a couple of years time but at the moment are not physically or mentally strong enough for our league.”
Meanwhile Butler is calling on his players to “deliver more of the same” after their mid-week win at Havant.
“Discipline is the keyword,” said Butler. “If we get that and the same commitment tomorrow we will be fine,” he added.