Saints fail to keep Gayle

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 February 2015

Ian Gayle in action against Wealdstone. Picture: Leigh Page

Ian Gayle in action against Wealdstone. Picture: Leigh Page

Archant

Ian Gayle will play his last game for St Albans City on Saturday after attempts to secure a season-long loan were scuppered on deadline day.

Omar Beckles directs his header towards goal under pressure from Ben Martin. Picture: Leigh PageOmar Beckles directs his header towards goal under pressure from Ben Martin. Picture: Leigh Page

The Dagenham and Redbridge defender originally joined the Saints on a month loan in November. The deal was extended twice but joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds’ efforts to keep him for the rest of the season fell through.

He will return to the Daggers on Monday.

“We tried everything we could to keep Gayley, but we just missed out on deadline day,” Gray told the Herts Ad. “We might have been able to do something but he had a change of heart because he thinks he still has a chance at Dagenham this season so Saturday will be his last game for us.”

Gayle’s impending departure opens the door for Omar Beckles to assume the role he was brought to the club to fulfil. Beckles was signed from Hornchurch to be a centre-half and he will be moved there after Saturday’s home game against Basingstoke Town.

“Omar has been superb since he came here. He’s good enough to play anywhere but he naturally has the attributes to play centre-half,” said Gray. “As soon as Gayle goes, he’ll partner Darren Locke at the back and hopefully they can form a good partnership over the next few months ready for next season.”

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