Pierce Bird brings ‘lovely balance’ to Boston United defence - Craig Elliott

Defender returns on loan...

Pierce Bird. Photo: Eric Brown
Pierce Bird. Photo: Eric Brown

Pierce Bird has returned to Boston United - and manager Craig Elliott expects the defender to push for a place in the Pilgrims' backline.

The 21-year-old has linked up with the club on loan from National League Eastleigh.

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Bird had a four-game loan spell with United last season while he was a Notts County player, having previously shared the Meadow Lane dressing room with current Pilgrims Ross Fitzsimons, Matt Tootle, Terry Hawkridge and Mitch Rose.

Left-sided defender Bird - who Elliott attempted to sign in the summer - featured in both FA Cup clashes with Rochdale last season, as well as the FA Trophy defeat to Atherton Collieries and a 3-1 league win at Kidderminster Harriers.

"I've been after him since pre-season," the United manager said.

"We were close to bringing him in but the lure of full-time football and playing in the league above persuaded him to go to Eastleigh.

"He did very well for us last year. He adds to the Notts County lads collection, I suppose. But he knows our lads from last year as well.

"He gives you that lovely balance as a left sided defender as well, especially with Gibbo (Lewis Gibbens) going out to get games."

Elliott has raved about his defence this season, but expects Bird to push Luke Shiels and Scott Garner for a place in the starting XI.

”He's been keeping very fit in training and reserve team games.

"He's a good ball-playing centre back but he's had games in non-league as well, Pierce, and he knows what it's all about."

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