Torquay United head coach Gary Owers spoke of his delight in completing the loan signing of defender Axel Andrésson at his weekly press call.
“He’s a fantastic character,” said Owers.
“He’s a real bundle of energy, he bounds in through the door in the morning and he lifts everybody. He’ll engage with everyone at the Club. He’ll walk through the door and speak to everyone. Hopefully we’ll see him jumping into the crowd at the end of the game and the Icelandic Clap and all that – he’s the full package.
“He’s a good player as well. When I took him last year at Bath, he came in and then we embarked on a ten game unbeaten run and he was instrumental in that. By the time he left everyone loved him and he left a lasting impression on the club. Hopefully we’ll see some of that here at Torquay.
“I think he’s a really good first ball centre-half who can go and attack that ball and win his fair share of headers. Technically he’s good, so he can handle the ball and pass it. I’ve watched him play many times for Reading. Already in training, he’s shown some good early signs.
“Axel’s loan is actually a youth loan, so that doesn’t count against the number [of total loan signings allowed per season]. That was another reason to bring him in; that gives us more flexibility.”
It seems that the signing was a long time in coming for Owers. Andrésson’s involvement with the Icelandic national and U21 teams will lead to him having to be away for matches and training camps.
“He’s one of the first phone calls that I made and it has taken us this long to get him. He’s been around the first team at Reading. He’s been on the bench and travelled and obviously on international duty which I had to wait for. That’s the thing with Axel, I don’t know how long it will last for but that will have implications as well because he’ll go missing when the international break is on.”
Considering the formation the Gaffer likes to play, then United needed cover at the back to cover a busy festive period.
“It is going to be hard to change that defensive unit, but Mich [Michee Efete], his loan expires on the 1st [of January]. Alex Davey’s expires on the 2nd [of January]. A couple of the lads are on three bookings which could very quickly, with three games in a week, turn to five, and then I’ve got a suspension to deal with. I’m trying to cover every eventuality and not be short. Certainly if we are to play with three centre-backs, which we have done, I need some cover and at least three to start.”
Owers also once again spoke about the need to take care in how he deals in the loan system. The picture will become a lot clearer soon.
“If I could keep my current squad intact I would fancy my chances getting through on current form. Whether that happens or not, it’s all going to unfold in the next couple of weeks.”