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Borough have high hopes for Jonte
Eastbourne Borough are hoping to return Jonte Smith to Crawley a better player.
The 18-year-old Bermudian has arrived at Priory Lane on an initial month’s loan with the challenge of helping Borough climb clear of the Blue Square Bet south relegation zone.
Boss Tommy Widdrington has been crying out for a goalscorer in recent weeks and is hoping Smith will be the answer to his team’s problems.
But, as an ex-professional himself, Widdrington also knows such loan spells are about two-way benefits.
Since a goal-laden loan spell at Ryman premier side Met Police earlier this season, Smith has made his Football League debut for Crawley as a substitute away to AFC Bournemouth in December and appeared three more times from the bench since.
After having his appetite whetted at Crawley, manager Richie Barker wants Smith to further his education at Eastbourne Borough and he will link up with a squad which has failed to score in each of their last three matches.
Widdrington said: “Our defensive record has been fairly good but we have had an issue with not scoring enough goals this season.
“We have had our eye on Jonte for quite a while. He forced his way into the first team and they have not been able to let him go back out on loan but when they did we were always there and keen to be the club he came to so we are pleased he has committed to us.
“Whenever you take a lad from a professional club the ultimate thing is for him to go back to his club a better player than when he came away.
“This will also introduce him to a different environment and he has stepped up a level from where he was scoring his goals in his previous loan spell. It will be good for his development.
“Crawley are three divisions above us. This lad has been on the bench and getting on the pitch in League One on a regular basis since his previous loan spell so let’s just hope he can carry on from where he left off when he was playing regular football.”