Grimsby Town add more firepower with loan signing of Michael Rankine from Aldershot
MICHAEL Rankine has further bolstered Grimsby Town's attacking firepower ahead of the start of their FA Trophy campaign.
The Aldershot striker completed a one-month loan deal before yesterday's 5pm deadline – and could be in line to make his debut against Buxton tomorrow (3pm).
Mariners bosses Paul Hurst and Rob Scott publicly stated their desire to bring in another forward following Anthony Elding's loan move to Preston North End last week.
And 27-year-old Rankine appears to fit the bill. The 6ft 3in forward, who has also played for York City and Rushden & Diamonds, should certainly add a physical presence to the team's frontline.
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He will join fellow loan striker Ross Hannah, Andy Cook, Greg Pearson and Dayle Southwell as Town's fit forwards, with Liam Hearn still recovering from a ruptured Achilles.
In addition, the bosses have also moved to extend Marcus Marshall's loan stay at the club until January 5.
The Bury winger has impressed Hurst and Scott since joining the club on an initial one-month deal at the start of November.
"We're delighted that we've extended Marcus' stay," Hurst said.
"We're keen to get him onboard, partly because Frankie Artus and Joe Colbeck are out injured, allied to the fact that he's done very well.
"He attacks defenders, he puts them on the back foot and makes it difficult.
"We were keen to extend it and he was keen to stay because he's really enjoying his football.
"In general, he gets quite a bit of the ball in our team and he's encouraged to take players on which is a big part of his game.
"I think he's improved game by game.
"Whenever he's running at defenders, we're happy. We want him to take his defender on. It makes the defender's life much harder.
"Whereas if he runs up to him, turns around and passes it back every time, speaking as a former defender, you are happy to play against that.
"After bedding in during that first half at Tamworth, since then he's been positive on the ball, won us a lot of free-kicks, got into good positions and done really well for us."