Lewis lines up Chester loan

Reporter: TONY BUGBY
Date published: 31 July 2009

ATHLETIC striker Lewis Alessandra is expected to complete a loan move to Chester City later today.

The 20-year-old has been told by Athletic manager Dave Penney he does not feature in his immediate plans.

And rather than being on the bench, Penney suggested Alessandra gain experience with a loan move.

Alessandra impressed Chester yesterday, scoring their goal in a 1-1 draw against Burnley.

City manager Mick Wadsworth, the former Athletic chief, was a regular visitor to Boundary Park last season and noted the potential of Alessandra, who scored a hat-trick against Scunthorpe.

“I am looking forward to playing regular first-team football,” said Alessandra. “If I am not going to be get a game for Latics, I may as well join Chester on loan.”

Athletic, meanwhile, play their final pre-season friendly tomorrow at home to Coca-Cola Championship club Blackpool.

It is the dress rehearsal for the new campaign and Penney hopes to play a team as close as possible to the one which will feature in their league opener against Stockport.

Deane Smalley, who has missed the last four matches with a groin strain, will return.

Penney will make a late decision on left-back Joe Jacobson, who suffered a stomach/groin strain, adding if there is any doubt about his fitness he will not be risked.

Will Haining will make a speedy return to Boundary Park after featuring for Athletic in pre-season.

After being informed by Penney that he wouldn’t be taken on for a second spell, Haining is having trials with the Seasiders and appeared for them against Carlisle in midweek.

Blackpool, who have only 13 senior players so far signed up, are believed to have five transfer deals ongoing and they continue to be linked with Athletic right-back Neal Eardley, who tomorrow will have the chance to impress them at first hand.

Admission prices for tomorrow’s match are £10 for adults, £5 for pensioners and ages 12/16 years and £3 for under-12s.