THERE will be a hint of irony if Jamie Jackson gets on the pitch for a 114th appearance in a Worksop shirt tonight (Friday).
The striker, returning to Tigers on loan for a month, left the club after scoring a brace of goals in the Sheffield Senior Cup final win over Frickley last season.
And his second ‘debut’ could come against Worksop’s most familiar of foes tonight at Frickley.
Although it’s not perhaps as glamorous an outing as some of the fixtures he might encounter with parent club Bradford Park Avenue in the Conference North, he’s still relishing a possible run out.
“It’s a game for me, that’s all I’m thinking of, a chance to get on and make an impact. It doesn’t matter who it’s against,” he told the Guardian this week.
The fan favourite scored 34 goals in 113 appearances over three seasons with Tigers, and his fondness for the club helped his decision to return when Avenue made him available for loan – although he’s not expecting to walk into the team.
Jackson explained: “The opportunity to go out on loan came up and Worksop Town were mentioned, and I jumped at it.”
“I enjoyed playing at Worksop, it wasn’t a hard decision at all, it’s going back to what I know.”
“I went to my first training session on Monday, and although the set-up is much the same it’s a different side, it’s a lot stronger, there’s a lot more depth.”
“Hopefully I can get some minutes, it might not be easy though.”
The month’s loan deal is a chance for the 26-year-old to breathe some life into a season that never really got going.
“It’s been a nightmare up to now,” he admitted.
“I pulled my hamstring after a good pre-season, injuries are the bane of all footballers.”
“I came back too early and did it again, so I’ve just been working hard to get back fit but I’ve not managed to get back into the team.”
And Avenue’s strength in depth in the attacking third of the pitch has helped Tigers fill a gap, says Worksop manager Simon Clark.
“Our lack of a third striker was a bit evident, we hadn’t got outright pace.”
“We’ve got a number nine, we’ve got a fox in the box goalscorer and then we want someone with outright pace that stretches defences.”
“Now we’ve got a reasonable balance, with Jamie coming in.”
“It’s a great addition for us, he enjoyed his time here and he’s here to work hard.”
l MASSIAH McDonald’s loan spell at Matlock Town has been extended for a further month, after which he will become a permanent fixture with the Gladiators, who will buy him for an undisclosed fee.
The striker, who netted the winner in Matlock’s 2-1 in over Mansfield Town in the FA Trophy on Tuesday night, has found form with his new club, having struggled to replicate the performances he put in at Worksop before signing a contract last season.
More Tigers news on page 79