Ebbsfleet United re-sign midfielder Michael West from Crewe Alexandra
Fleet vice-chairman Peter Varney with Michael West (Pic: Paul Jarvis)
Michael West has rejoined Ebbsfleet United on a free transfer from Crewe Alexandra.
The midfielder left Stonebridge Road to join the League 1 side in July 2012 after two memorable seasons with the Fleet.
But West never tied down a regular spot in the Crewe team and having been loaned out to Hereford earlier this season, the 22-year-old is now back at the club he calls home.
Ebbsfleet boss Steve Brown told the club's website: "I am delighted to have secured Michael’s signature amongst some fierce competition from other clubs. Michael returns to the club where he started his career and hopefully we can help him develop further as a player and he can help us achieve success.
"His decision was greatly influenced, I believe, by the vision we have for the future of the club and the foundations we have already put in place in terms of a new training ground and the development of a new youth system.
"The club and its ambition was our main selling point and Michael wants to be a part of what we are trying to achieve here."
Brown had been looking into potential loan deals, following back-to-back defeats in Skrill South, but West's return is a permanent move.
Fleet vice-chairman Peter Varney paid tribute to Crewe chairman John Bowler for making that possible.
He said: "I’d like to thank John in particular for the speed and ease with which Crewe have allowed this transfer to proceed, particularly given that Michael was still under contract at Gresty Road. It is a wonderful gesture on his part."
West was given his first taste of senior football by Liam Daish, Brown's predecessor, in the latter part of the 2009/10 campaign, which saw Ebbsfleet relegated from Conference Premier.
And he really made a name for himself the following season as the Fleet bounced back at the first attempt, going up via the Conference South play-offs. West scored six goals in the three play-off games, including two in the final against Farnborough.
He continued to impress in non-league's top flight and he was regularly watched by scouts before Crewe snapped him up 18 months ago.
West made nine league appearances for Crewe last season and just three this term, as well as playing eight times for Hereford during his loan spell.
He could make his second Fleet debut in Saturday's FA Trophy third round tie away to Havant & Waterlooville.
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