THE return of prolific marksman Nathan Hodge is a huge boost for AFC Ludlow.

That’s the view from Ludlow boss Dave Cooper, who is delighted to have snapped up the striker.

Hodge is returning to Ludlow after spells this term with Newtown and Haughmond.

Cooper said: “Nathan wants to come back to play with his mates.

“He wants to play a higher level of football – but he wants to do that with us.

“I don’t want him to be a one season wonder – we want him to be with the club for a long time.

“There is a big buzz around the club and signing Nathan is a huge boost for us.”

Cooper expects Hodge to line up with brother Dale for Ludlow in this Saturday’s West Midlands League Division Two home clash with second-placed Wolverhampton Sporting Community Reserves.

But Ludlow will be without suspended duo Luke Hicks and Jake Pryce

Cooper was the referee as Ludlow triumphed in a triangular tournament, involving Churchstoke and Ludlow Town Colts, at the Showtime Stadium last Saturday.

Keiran Dovey, Luke Hicks and Marion Jusko were all on target as AFC Ludlow defeated Churchstoke 4-2 and then overcame a depleted Ludlow Town Colts 5-1.

In the other match, Churchstoke won 4-3 against Ludlow Town Colts.

Cooper said: “Nathan Hodge scores goals wherever he goes.

“But we can’t just rely on Nathan – we all have to muck in and score goals.

“We have got a good group of young players at the club – and Nathan has seen this, too.

“January is a massive month for us – we are playing the top three teams at home.”