Delighted Andy Scott finally won the race to re-sign Bradley Bubb this week – and then backed the striker to provide the final piece of his Aldershot Town jigsaw.
The 25-year-old goal ace has agreed a return to Shots until the end of the season following an unsettled six-month spell with Belgian club Royal Antwerp.
Hitman Bubb first joined from neighbours Farnborough in the summer of 2011 but soon fell out of favour under previous manager Dean Holdsworth before being loaned out to rivals Woking, where he set the Conference alight, scoring 18 goals.
After being released in the summer, Bubb opted for a move abroad to play under ex-Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink in Antwerp, but struggled to force his way into the side and only made four appearances before his contract was terminated at the turn of the year.
Since then, Bubb has been training with the Shots before finally putting pen to paper on Tuesday. But now Scott has now revealed that secret negotiations to bring the striker back home had been taking place for some time.
“We’ve been working on it for a couple of months,” the boss admitted. “We knew he wanted to come back but we wanted to keep it low key because we knew there would be a number of interested parties.
“I’m delighted to have Bradley back. I’ve always wanted four strikers at the club and each one gives us something different.
"Bradley is proven at this level, as he showed at Woking, has good pace and movement and his recent spell in Belgium has brought a new dimension to his game.”
Bubb is now awaiting confirmation of his international clearance being received by Conference chiefs before he knows whether he will be included in the squad for this Saturday’s FA Trophy visit of Guiseley or the league trip to Gateshead on Tuesday night.
Scott, though, denied that Bubb had been brought in as a replacement for leading scorer Brett Williams, who is attracting the attentions of a number of Football League suitors after scoring 19 goals so far this season.
He explained: “There will always be interest in a division's leading scorer, but when we handed out the contracts in the summer they had certain clauses in them which included targets.
“Brett has achieved his target already but the clause is based around us securing our Conference status so Brett won’t be going anywhere at least until the end of the season when we'll sit down and look at our options.”
However, Scott believes he has lost out in the race to re-sign another ex-favourite, Aaron Morris.
The Welsh Under-21 international has been back training with the Shots recently after recovering from a career-threatening cruciate ligament injury suffered last March, but has left the club to pursue one or two offers from Football League clubs closer to his Cardiff home.
Scott added: “We are disappointed things didn’t work out with Aaron, but he knows we want to sign him and is welcome to come back if things don’t work out for him. The door is still open.”
Scott is also in talks with Brentford to extend the loan further of Manny Oyeleke beyond January 29, although he seems likely to miss out on similar deals to keep Millwall pair Aiden O’Brien and Jake Goodman at the club longer term after the Lions appointed Ian Holloway as their new manager this week.