The five Reds out on loan are making a strong impression at their various clubs.
Four of them are plying their trade in the National League.
Jimmy Smith (pictured) joined Yeovil Town last month and the 32-year-old, who missed much of last season with knee surgery, made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut in a 3-2 home win over Fylde.
He has scored twice more since against Aldershot and Bromley and helped the Glovers, relegated last season, into third place although after a run of five successive defeats they were beaten 2-1 at Hartlepool on Saturday, when ex-Reds striker Rhys Murphy was on target, and go into tonight’s home match with Woking in third place, three points off top spot.
Josh Payne, who joined Ebbsfleet United until January 6 last week, played for 90 minutes on his debut in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Harrogate Town. He will make his home bow for the Kent club against Torquay United this evening. Despite being on the losing side, the midfielder’s performance impressed Ebbsfleet’s experienced manager Garry Hill.
“I think Josh Payne will get better and better,” he said after Saturday’s game. “His ball retention, experience, proven record at National League and above makes him a good signing for us. He will mastermind the middle of midfield and he will be a big player here.”
Jack Powell has a wealth of National League experience with Maidstone United and last month made the switch to Aldershot. The midfielder made his debut in a 2-1 win at Stockport County and has started and completed all six games since he joined the club. His next chance to impress is against Dover Athletic at home tonight (Tuesday).
Ibrahim Meite has made nine appearances for Woking with his loan spell at Kingfield being extended on a month by month basis. He scored in their 2-1 win at Chesterfield in September and has been used as a substitute in their last five matches. Woking are fourth in the table ahead of their midweek game at Yeovil.
A bit further down the pyramid, Ricardo German has scored four times since joining National League South high-fliers Hemel Hempstead Town. The Tudors currently sit second in the table and Ricardo was a second-half sub in the Tudors’ latest victory, 2-1 over Bath City on Saturday.
Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi says the club constantly monitor the performances of their loan players.
“They have all gone on loan because they feel opportunities to play in the first team every game are not there at the moment, and we have to respect the desire of the players,” he said.
“They are not forgotten. We have them watched, their performances are analysed and of course if we need them because we have a lot of sudden injuries they come back to us.”
George Forrest has returned to the club after a spell on loan with Leiston.