LITTLE Oakley have bolstered their defensive options by re-signing Harry Windred.

The centre-half, whose dad, Matt, is the club’s development team manager, left the Acorns earlier this season in a bid to gain experience with Thurlow Nunn League premier division neighbours Brantham Athletic.

However, having found his opportunities limited, he “jumped at the chance” to move back to the Memorial Ground.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have re-signed Harry,” said Tynan, whose side were left without a game last weekend as snow put paid to their fixture at Team Bury.

“He’s someone I’ve always rated very highly and after we put a seven-day approach in, he jumped at the chance to come back.

“He’s a big, strong and physical defender who wins a lot in the air.

“But he also loves playing football on the floor.

“He’s comfortable in possession, playing out from the back, and has got everything you’d want from a centre-half at this level.

“He just needs experience and a run of games – something he’ll certainly get here.”

By an unfortunate quirk of the fixtures, Oakley have no Thurlow Nunn League first division game tomorrow.

They had been hoping to play a friendly at Essex and Suffolk Border League outfit Earls Colne but that plan was scuppered after their opponents had a league game rearranged for them.

Tynan said he had planned to take a mixed squad which could have included key defenders Lewis Wood and Ben Hammond and striker Harry Mann.

Wood (thigh) and Hammond (ankle) were both forced to miss Oakley’s last game – a 4-0 defeat at Norwich CBS on February 24.

Mann, meanwhile, is nursing a knee problem and would not have featured against Team Bury.

The Acorns are still hoping to arrange a friendly match on Tuesday and Tynan said it would be good to get action for players who needed it.

Tynan added: “We’re not far from being back to full-strength and Ryan Smart is also available again, having served his suspension for being sent off against Holland.

“That’s really pleasing.

“But we’re gutted not to have a league game (this weekend).

“It’s really unfortunate, having not played last week either, because we’re itching to get back in action after the Norwich defeat.

“Generally speaking, we’ve come a long way since the start of the season, particularly in terms of things like fitness and organisation.

“We’re still learning but we’re looking forward to our last dozen or so games and would love to end the season strongly.”

Oakley’s next league game is an all-Essex affair at home to Halstead Town, at the Memorial Ground on March 17.

Three days later, on March 20, they have another eye-catching home fixture against title-chasing Woodbridge Town.