Blue Square Bet
Published 13th September 2012
....deal, after a string of impressive displays following his arrival as defensive cover in August.
With only a month gone on his original three-month contract, the 20-year-old former Southampton player had shown enough composure, courage and class to ensure his stay was made permanent.
“It was a no brainer, as anyone who has seen him play since arriving in August will appreciate,” said Rovers manager David Hockaday.
“We brought Aarran in after having four defenders succumb to injury in the space of couple of weeks during the pre-season and he has been mightily impressive.”
Raccine was a surprise addition to Rovers bench for the 2-2 draw against a Manchester United XI after summer-signing Paul Green was taken to hospital with an ankle injury during the pre-season clash with Wealdstone three days beforehand – that added to existing injuries for left back Chris Stokes and versatile defender Chris Todd.
The decision to have the triallist on the bench was further vindicated when right-back Jared Hodgkiss was stretchered off with what was initially feared to be a broken ankle; and Racine penned a short-term deal two days later.
His competitive debut in the second game of the season away to AFC Telford United was one to remember – grabbing a 5th minute goal in a 2-1 win – and Racine has played every minute of every game since.
And despite Chris Todd and Chris Stokes returning from injury in the friendly game with AFC Bournemouth on Monday, Racine’s combination with Rovers captain Eddie Oshodi in the centre of defence means Hockaday may soon have some tough decisions to make.
“We’ve also got Paul Green and Jared Hodgkiss making progress with their injuries, but the form of Aarran, as well as Ed Asafu-Adjaye and Jamie Turley in those full-back roles, has meant we haven’t had to push Paul and Jared to return early. When they come back, they will be 100% fit and raring to go.
“We’ve really only had one defender, Oshodi, playing in the same position as last year. Two of the other three spots have gone to new boys, while Turls has played out of position at right-back. To have all those changes and still have the third best defensive record in the league, shows the boys are playing very well.”
Racine spent six years in Southampton’s youth system, was training with the first team at 16 and tipped to progress, when a knee injury curtailed his progress.
Despite being back to full fitness Racine was released at the end of last season.