Out-of-favour Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Deverdics has returned to his happy hunting ground of Dover.
But yesterday’s one-month loan deal at the National League high-fliers is unlikely to become a permanent arrangement.
The 29-year-old’s prolific goal-scoring from midfield last season came close to firing Athletic into the Football League for the first time in their history.
Those 16 goals also attracted the interest of then Pools boss Craig Hignett who signed the ex-Newcastle United product on a free transfer last summer.
Despite being one of Hignett’s principal acquisitions, life at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium has nort run smoothly for the Geordie.
He has made 15 starts this season, plus nine from the bench, scoring twice, against Accrington in League Two and Stamford in the FA Cup.
But Deverdics has not featured since starting in the 3-2 win against Morecambe in the last match of 2016 and has yet t9o play for new boss Dave Jones.
He was an unused sub at Newport. but was not named in the matchday 18 against Yeovil at the weekend.
A Pools statement said that “boss Dave Jones was keen for him to go out on loan and get some minutes under his belt”.
SportMail understands Jones feels a player of his calibre would benefit from a run of National League matches rather than intermittent reserve-team fixtures.
His return to the Crabble Athletic Ground comes a week after he turned down a loan switch to Gateshead.
The National League club had tried to signhim after midfielder Sam Jones had left for Grimsby Town.
However, Deverdics declined the offer and opted instead to stay at the Vic in a bid to fight for his place.
But after not making the match-day squad against Yeovil has now decided to go back to his old stomping ground.
Deverdics though is less than halfway through a two-year contract and joined Pools to revive his career after six years outside the Football League.
He left Dover with the Kent club having finished fifth in the National League and, coincidentally, re-joins them in fith place and will be looking to help them stay there.
Only the division winners go up automatically to League Two with the next four clubs taking part in the play-offs.