BURTON Albion have swooped to sign Bermudan goalkeeper Freddy Hall until the end of the season.
The 29-year-old will provide cover for Rob Lainton and Dean Lyness in the nine remaining League Two matches as the Brewers target automatic promotion.
Should Albion finish in the play-offs and reach the Wembley final on May 26, Hall, who has six caps for his country, will be available with Lainton’s loan expired.
“Freddy’s a player we’ve had in on trial,” said Burton boss Gary Rowett. “He’s got a good pedigree and is a loud, bubbly character.
“Rather than him stay with us until the end of the season and keep looking at him, we’ve made the decision to offer him a short-term contract.
“If injury and form prevail, he could sit on the bench.
“We’re delighted to have him on board.”
Lainton is Albion’s current No1 and his loan deal extends to include the play-off semi-finals in early May.
But should the Brewers reach the Wembley final on May 26, Lainton would be unavailable – a similar situation to that winger Alex MacDonald faced last season before Albion went out to Bradford in the semi-finals.
But Hall and Lyness would both be available to keep goal should Albion need to visit the hallowed turf of Wembley.
Meanwhile, Ian Sharps could return to the side for Saturday’s trip to Scunthorpe.
The 33-year-old centre-half, a rock in the club’s drive for promotion, will have to prove his fitness on Friday after missing the last two games with a calf strain he picked up in the 2-1 win at Oxford.
“Sharpsy’s okay,” said Rowett. “I think he’s still not 100 per cent fit and we’re going to have to assess that as the week goes on.
“He’ll train on Friday and we’ll know more then.
“He’s doing all the rehab and hasn’t lost a lot of fitness - it’s whether his calf is 100 per cent right.
“At this stage of the season we wouldn’t want to play anyone who’s not 100 per cent fit.”