Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine admitted that perseverance and pestering from himself and his players helped convince defensive talisman Joe Mbu to sign on for another season with the Lowland League champions.
Mbu, 34, had planned to retire in order to spend more time with his young family after helping City win promotion to Ladbrokes League Two. However, the former Cowdenbeath man will be in black and white next season along with top scorer Ross Allum and captain Dougie Gair.
“Joe’s been on holiday for two weeks and I don’t think he’s had a break from any of the boys or myself dropping the odd text in,” said Jardine. “He was determined to finish his career on a high by getting promoted and he did that, but he’s type of player we were desperate to keep around. He motivates people and we’re delighted to have him going in to the season.”
Mbu’s experience of senior football will also be beneficial. “That’ll help,” said his manager. “He demands a lot of his team-mates around him and so far, since he’s been at the club, the players have responded and I’m sure new players coming in will vouch for that as well.”
Holding on to Allum proved a challenge for Jardine, the striker’s goalscoring feats attracting interest from other clubs.
“Ross is a big capture for us,” he said. “There was a lot of interest and he had quite a few options from the first and second divisions, but he was determined to carry on where he left off.
“Dougie’s worked hard at the club for sixteen years and no-one deserves it more than him, so we’re delighted he’s staying. He’s another big capture, as are other players who have re-signed.”