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Herne Bay sign Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West on loan for the rest of the season

Herne Bay have made a real statement of intent, bringing in an experienced midfielder from National League South Ebbsfleet until the end of the season.

West, 31, joins Ben Smith's side with Bay pushing for an Isthmian South East play-off place and sixth in the table, two points behind fifth-placed Cray Valley but with a game in hand on the two sides immediately above them.

Ebbsfleet midfielder Michael West has joined promotion-chasing Herne Bay on loan for the remainder of the season
Ebbsfleet midfielder Michael West has joined promotion-chasing Herne Bay on loan for the remainder of the season

"I’m looking forward to playing at Herne Bay and helping with the play-off push," the former Football League player told Bay's website.

West has more than 175 matches to his name with the Fleet across three spells with the club but has only featured nine times for the first-team this season.

Having also signed former Charlton and Faversham playmaker Eddie Allsopp this week, Bay boss Smith said: "They are two really key signings, just to add that little bit of technical ability because games are going to get tighter and tighter, and tenser and tenser.

"With Eddie, his free-kicks will add to what we have got already as well.

"They are really positive signings. We have been working so hard behind-the-scenes."

West started as a professional with Ebbsfleet before moving to League 1 Crewe in 2012 and was back in January 2014, although a serious knee injury kept him out for a year.

The Fleet fans' favourite returned for a third stint with Ebbsfleet in 2020 and helped the club mark their 75th anniversary by announcing a new deal last June.

He counts Hereford United, Whitehawk, Chelmsford City, Eastbourne Borough, Kingstonian and Tonbridge Angels among his other former clubs.

West joins Herne Bay's squad which features former Ebbsfleet Academy defender Joe Denny, another recent addition at Winch's Field.

Bay visit Lancing this weekend and travel to Faversham on Tuesday.

Ebbsfleet have also announced Ashley Nathaniel-George has returned to National League Southend following the conclusion of his one-month loan, with the wideman having sustained an injury in their win over Eastbourne Borough last month.

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