Green's back at Eastleigh on loan
By Wendy Gee -
MICHAEL Green is in line to make his Conference South debut for Eastleigh at home to Welling United tomorrow – two years after leaving the Silverlake Stadium.
Now a professional with Micky Adams’ Port Vale, the 22-year-old left-back is joining his old club on an initial short-term loan from the npower League Two side.
Having learned his trade under Graham Kemp at Brockenhurst and Christchurch, Green moved to Eastleigh in the summer of 2009.
But with more experienced players blocking his path into the first team, he joined Southern League neighbours AFC Totton on loan before signing for them permanently in a four-figure deal.
He played two outstanding seasons for the Stags and, following trials for Millwall, Wycombe and Reading, Green landed his big pro break with Port Vale during the summer, signing a two-year deal at Vale Park.
But he has been limited to just a handful of starts for the Valiants after suffering a hamstring injury in training in September.
Eastleigh have been struggling in the left-back department, so much so that striker-turned-centre back Andy Forbes has had to play there of late.
"It's a position we've been suspect at," admitted manager Ian Baird.
"Having to play Forbesy there hasn't been the best option because he's not naturally left-sided, but fair play to him for filling in.
"I don't believe it's young Ben Wilson's best position either.
"He played in the centre of midfield for the youth team this week and it's a tall order to expect a 17-year-old to do the job."
With Henrik Breimyr's loan from Aldershot now finished, Eastleigh will use that money to fund the Green deal.
Some at Eastleigh would argue that Sway lad Green should never have been allowed to go in the first place, but Baird said: "Totton paid us £7,500 for someone who hadn't played a game in the Conference South.
"We'd have been mad to turn it down."
Subject to the completion of paperwork, Green should go straight into the Spitfires side to face second-placed Welling.
With striker Richard Gillespie struggling with a thigh strain, it's possible Forbes could be restored to frontline duty as fourth-to-bottom Eastleigh bid to mend their goal-shy ways.
They have scored just nine times in 12 league matches and squandered chances as they crashed out of the FA Cup against Oxford City last week.
"The stats made interesting reading," said Baird. "We had nine opportunities on goal and so did Oxford, but they scored three and we scored one.
"Because it's the FA Cup, emotions run high and I knew there would be accusations and reverberations - against me rather than the players - if we lost.
"But, like I said to the lads, we can either put up the white flag or put it behind us and get on with it.
"We've got a good set of lads and I was encouraged that seven of our senior players went for a drink afterwards to have a talk about it."