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Former Leyton Orient, Peterborough United, Northampton Town and Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani agrees to extend his stay as manager of Spalding United

Tulips boss Gabriel Zakuani has extended his Spalding United stay.

The former Leyton Orient, Peterborough, Northampton and Gillingham defender has signed a new deal which commits him to the Tulips for next season.

Zakuani - who made 29 international appearances for the DR Congo during his playing career - took over at the Tulips helm in October following the resignation of Lewis Thorogood.

Gabriel Zakuani(44301062)
Gabriel Zakuani(44301062)

He was initially appointed on a caretaker basis before being handed the role permanently, only for Spalding's season to then be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic following an impressive 3-3 away draw at Belper Town.

The 34-year-old is now relishing the challenge ahead with the Northern Premier League South East Division club.

Zakuani said: "I'm delighted to commit my immediate future to the club. It's a project that I truly believe in.

"The prospect of a full pre-season with this talented squad and a few additions is something I am very excited about."

Zakuani's arrival at the Sir Halley Stewart ground was followed by a series of high-profile signings.

Former Rangers and Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger marked his Spalding debut with a goal in their draw at Belper.

Zakuani also recruited former Dagenham and Redbridge striker Chris Assombalonga and wideman Glenn Yala Bolasie whose brothers - Chris and Yannick - both play in the Championship for Middlesbrough.

His commitment to the Tulips cause delighted chief executive Leigh Porter who is already looking towards the next campaign.

Porter said: "With this season looking like it's going to fade out into null and void, we have started to plan for what a new season will look like.

"Gaby has been committed to the vision of the club from day one and we were extremely keen to have him as part of the club moving forward.

"He has unfinished business and this news is fantastic for the club in the current climate.

"Gaby has not been able to really show what he can do yet, but now has his chance and we thank him for his commitment and loyalty."

Spalding's current league campaign is suspended until March 6 with the Tulips now awaiting the outcome of a survey conducted by the Football Association on how clubs wish to conclude the season.

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