Whitby Town have landed a real coup with the capture of former Doncaster Rovers defender Ben Aksins, according to assistant-manager Lee Bullock.
The 20-year-old joined the Blues on a permanent deal this month following his release by the League Two outfit, having spent time on loan at the Turnbull Ground last season.
“Ben’s a great signing for a club at our level,” Bullock told the Whitby Gazette.
“He’s a big, strong boy, who defends well and can also play football. He’s had a lot of bad luck with injuries, and I’m sure that’s the only reason that he isn’t still in the Football League.
“I remember being sat on the bench when he made his debut for us on loan and I thought straight away ‘this lad can play’.
“There are no guarantees in football, but I’m confident that we’ve landed a player who, if he picks up where he left off last season, will find himself back in the Football League before too long.”
Askins signed professional forms with Rovers in the summer of 2014, but saw his chances of first team action at the Keepmoat Stadium limited due to injury.
As a result, he made a temporary switch to Whitby, debuting in a 3-3 home draw with Nantwich in September and going on to make three further appearances before a knee injury sustained in an FA Cup replay with Salford City curtailed his season.
Yet despite being unable to play for the Blues, Askins stayed in touch with the club and attended a number of fixtures at the Turnbull.
“Ben obviously enjoyed his time with us so he kept in contact and came to a lot of our home games after he got injured, and that’s the sort of commitment we’re looking for from a player,” Bullock added.
“As soon as he became available, there was no hesitation from the club in signing him, not just because of the ability he has and his potential, but because of the type of character he is.
“When a player who is contracted to another club is coming to training sessions even when he’s injured, just so he can catch up with the lads, it says a lot about how much he wants to be at Whitby Town.”