Malone ready to return for Steelmen

Paul Malone is in contention for a return to first-team action for Corby Town this weekend
Paul Malone is in contention for a return to first-team action for Corby Town this weekend

Paul Malone is in contention to make his return to competitive football for Corby Town this weekend.

The central defender has featured for Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Stamford in the past couple of weeks after joining them on a dual registration as he continues his comeback from a double leg break he suffered back in February.

But Steelmen boss Tommy Wright has now brought the popular centre-half back to Steel Park after seeing his side suffer an incredible collapse last weekend.

Corby were 2-1 up against Vanarama National League North rivals Tamworth in their FA Trophy third qualifying round clash but then conceded five goals in the last 18 minutes as they were hammered 6-2.

Wright believes Malone is “fit to start” and he could be thrust straight into the action on Saturday when the Steelmen make the short trip to take on table-topping Nuneaton Town.

“We have brought him back into the fold and he trained with the squad on Monday,” Wright said.

“He is someone who is whole-hearted and he wants to fight for his hometown club.

“It might take him two, three or four games to get back up to speed. I watched him play for Stamford last week and he looked fine.

“He wants to be around the place and he is the sort of guy who can come back and help lift the dressing-room.

“He looks like he is fit to start. He will train again before the weekend and I expect him to be fit for selection.”

Wright hinted at big changes to his squad following last Saturday’s capitulation.

But, having reflected on it, he says he is willing to give his players the “benefit of the doubt” as they bid for vital points after they dropped back into the bottom three following Brackley Town’s 2-0 win over Curzon Ashton on Tuesday evening.

“I am willing to give the players the benefit of the doubt,” he added.

“The last 18 minutes of the game were dreadful but things are not as bad as they were in September, going into October.

“I want to give them the chance to show that what happened last Saturday was just a blip.”