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Spalding signing Rangers off to Southend

Stellar Spalding signing Nile Ranger has returned to the professional ranks after joining League Two side
Southend United.

With the Tulips’ Northern Premier League South East Division campaign currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, former Newcastle United front man Ranger has been training with the Shrimpers.

The 29-year-old has now been offered an incentive-based month-to-month contract at Roots Hall for his third spell with the Essex club.

Nile Ranger pictured during his Newcastle United days.
Nile Ranger pictured during his Newcastle United days.

Southend boss Mark Molesley – speaking to the club’s website - explained: “Nile has been in training for two months getting fit before integrating into the first team training and he’s shown the right attitude ever since he walked through the door and has worked hard to get his fitness up.

“He came in originally on his own away from the group to work on his fitness and we have slowly integrated him into the first team sessions.

“Nile has still got to earn the right to play for this club and he knows that himself. Everyone has to earn the right.

“He has got to repay the faith I have shown him on the pitch and I am excited to see a fully fit Nile play for this football club.

“His desire to play football again is clear and he is very passionate about Southend United.As long as he continues to work as hard as he has been over this period then he will play a part for the remainder of the season.”

Ranger – who has also played for Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon and Blackpool – made just one appearance for the Tulips.

His eye-catching arrival followed the permanent appointment of Gabriel Zakuani as Spalding manager and was followed by the signings of former Dagenham and Redbridge striker Chris Assombalonga and wide man Glenn Yala Bolasie whose brothers – Chris and Yannick – both play in the Championship for Middlesbrough.

Ranger netted on his Spalding debut in the 3-3 away draw at Belper which was the Tulips’ last outing before the league was suspended.

A calf injury denied Ranger the chance this weekend to make his Southend return in the 1-0 home defeat against Bolton Wanderers.

Molesley added: “Nile still needs to do quite a bit of work to catch up with the rest of the group as unfortunately he had a minor setback with a calf issue which has kept him out for the last 10 days.

“I have to admit though that I thought he would have picked that up much earlier on, so he did well to get that far as we have been pushing him so hard for him to prove how much he wanted it.

“It was probably the change in surface where we went from a heavy pitch onto an artificial surfaceand he felt a tweak in his calf.

“He’s settled that down and he’s now very close. He will be joining in with the team training again this week and then it’s up to him to force himself into our team and into our squad.”

A decision on the outcome of Spalding’s season – which is currently suspended until March 6 – could be announced this week. The Alliance Committee will meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the season and their recommendations, along with that of the Leagues Committee, will then need to be ratified by the FA Council.

The outcome will also affect the United Counties League which features Deeping Rangers, Holbeach United, Pinchbeck United and Bourne Town.

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