Matt Crabb will return to senior football at the Oval for Langney Wanderers 18 years after he made his debut there for Eastbourne United.
Crabb, 35, has joined Southern Combination division one outfit Wanderers on a short-term deal and will make his first appearance for Andy Goodchild’s men against Ringmer tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm).
Crabb said, “It’s a short deal and I agreed to help them throughout February. The chairman Steve Saunders asked me if I could help them out as they have quite a few injuries and suspensions coming up. They said they needed a bit of experience and quality and hopefully I can bring that to the team.”
Crabb began his senior career as a 17-year-old with Eastbourne United but soon caught the eye of then Eastbourne Borough management duo Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood. Crabb was a key member of the Borough side that progressed up from the County League and spent three seasons in the top tier of non-league football.
Crabb also represented Eastbourne Town under Danny Bloor’s management before teaming up with Garry Wilson once again at Lewes.
Crabb added, “I’m really looking forward to getting out on the pitch again. I never thought I’d be playing football again this season so I just plan to make the most of it and enjoy it.
“I have enjoyed having some Saturday’s to myself. I have been spending time with the family and I’ve also been enjoying my fishing.
“I have been keeping the fitness going with six-a-side football. I’m happy to play where ever Andy wants me to play to be honest. I finished my career as holding midfielder but left back, left wing, central midfield - it doesn’t matter to me.
“I’ll have a chat with Andy at training on Thursday and meet the other lads and take it from there.”
Crabb is employed as heating and ventilation engineer and much of his works is based in London. At this stage a return to football in a coaching or management capacity is difficult but he hasn’t entirely ruled it out in the future.
“It’s something I would like to be involved with at some stage but at the moment that level of commitment is very difficult. I’m not the sort of person who would agree to something and then miss training sessions or even matches. If I did it, everything would have to be right. But who knows, I didn’t think I’d be playing football again this season so anything is possible.”
Langney are 13th in the league standings and will be without Matt’s brother Nathan Crabb (suspended) for the Ringmer clash. Winger Stephen Jackson is also expected to sign in time to face Ringmer and defender Ollie Goodchild has also joined from Eastbourne United.