• Wealth of Albion Connections at Eastbourne Borough

    Albion fans have even more reason to keep an eye on Nationwide League South fixtures this season and, in particular, those of Sussex-side Eastbourne Borough.

    Albion’s Icelandic U-21 striker Stefan Ljubicic was loaned to The Sports at the end of the January transfer window, tasked with helping to find the goals required to keep Eastbourne clear of the bottom three.

    Ljubicic arrived in Sussex in July 2016, going straight into the Albion’s U-18 setup. In the 2017/18 Premier League South season, Ljubicic made 18 appearances and caught the eye with ten goals and four assists. This form saw the striker stepping up to Simon Rusk’s U-23 squad for the 2018/19 Premier League 2 Division 1 campaign.

    The young striker did not find the net for the Albion’s U-23s prior to his move to Eastbourne, although he was credited with an assist for a James Tilley’s goal, as Simon Rusk’s side impressively despatched Manchester City’s U-23s 5-0 in August.

    The loan follows a similar move to fellow National League South side Bognor Regis at the same time of the 2017/18 season.

    Ljubicic has impressed in his early games since moving along the Sussex coast, as illustrated in a recent match report

    “Up front Ljubicic added height, good movement and a quite imperious presence, and Howell must be quietly pleased with the coup of his signing from Albion.”

    Following that draw, Borough lost 2-0 at Billericay Town, extending a poor sequence of only two wins in 14 games, leading to the club parting ways with manager Jamie Howell.

    Borough didn’t waste any time replacing Howell, and former Albion manager Mark McGhee, who still lives locally, was brought in as interim manager for the remainder of the campaign. McGhee boasts an impressive footballing CV, including a European Cup Winners’ Cup, a European Super Cup, four Scottish Premier titles, five Scottish Cups and three promotions with three different clubs as a manager.

    The Albion connections don’t end with McGhee however, as the Scot moved quickly to add popular ex-Albion midfielder Charlie Oatway to his off-field team as first-team coach.

    Oatway played under McGhee back in the club’s Withdean era, but since hanging up his playing boots he has been one of Gus Poyet’s go-to men. Oatway worked with the Uruguayan at the Albion, before moving on to Sunderland, AEK Athens, Real Betis and most recently in the Chinese Super League with Shanghai Shenhua.
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