Hastings United club captain Josh Jirbandey has had to put his American adventure on hold.
The 21-year-old central defender had intended to go to the United States for four years from August to combine football with studying, but will now be staying in the locality until January.
He explained: “It’s a bit annoying it’s six months later because I can’t wait to get out there to be fair, but as long as I get out there...”
The delay is because Jirbandey missed the international admissions deadline (a deadline he wasn’t aware of) for his chosen university in California.
Jirbandey is planning on doing pre-season with United and is keen to stay at The Pilot Field, but is having to hope there is room in the playing budget to accommodate him after the club signed Jono Richardson as his replacement.
United player-manager Sean Ray said: “It’s a massive boost to keep him; he’s been one of our best performers for the last two years.”
The 6ft 4in former William Parker Sports College student is a former Peterborough United YTS scholar and in August 2009 had a trial with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
Jirbandey has made 139 appearances for United, 48 of which came last season, and has scored seven goals. He was named supporters’ player of the year at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.
United have kept the majority of the squad which finished in the final Ryman Football League Premier Division safe spot of fifth-from-bottom last season, and have brought in Richardson and Liam Upton from Rye United.
See tomorrow’s Hastings Observer for the full article.