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Nile Ranger to return to training following prison release

Ranger admitted switching over £2,000 from a woman's account to another in 2015. Credit: PA

Southend United's Nile Ranger will return to training after being released from prison today.

The former Newcastle striker was jailed for eight months in May after admitting to online banking fraud.

Ranger was released from Pentonville Prison after serving just over ten weeks in jail.

A statement on the club's website said: "Nile was eligible for early release under the HDC (Home Detention Curfew) Scheme, due to the short duration of his sentence and his consistently excellent custodial behaviour."

"Nile may regard himself as fortunate but will remain under an evening home curfew for the next 5 to 6 weeks."

"However, this will enable him to resume training immediately and Nile Ranger is today undergoing a fitness test and assessment that will help steer his training regime over the next 7 to 10 days before he re-joins the squad."

Kevin Lokko: Ex-Norwich academy star joins Stevenage

Kevin Lokko was once part of Norwich City's academy. Credit: PA

Stevenage have signed former Norwich City academy defender Kevin Lokko after triggering his release clause at National League side Maidstone United.

The 21 year old centre-back, who is an England C international, played 46 games for Maidstone last season.

Lokko also had a spell at Colchester earlier in his career but is yet to make an appearance in the Football League.

Many will be surprised by the timing of this but Kevin’s attracted a lot of interest in recent months and I can more than understand why a league club would take a punt on him.

We of course wish him all the best and thank him for his efforts during last season.

– Jay Saunders, Maidstone United manager

Meanwhile, Southend United have signed 19-year-old French forward Amadou Ba following a successful trial.

Ba has agreed a two-year deal at Roots Hall.

Fellow Shrimpers striker Theo Robinson has also committed his future to the club by agreeing a one-year contract extension.

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Michael Turner: Southend United swoop for centre-back

Michael Turner spent five years at Carrow Road. Credit: PA

Southend United have signed former Norwich City defender Michael Turner on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old used to play under Shrimpers boss Phil Brown at Hull City and has made over 400 appearances in his career so far.

Turner fell out of favour at Carrow Road and was released earlier this summer, bringing to an end a five-year stay in Norfolk.

He's agreed a one-year deal at Roots Hall.

Phil Brown was one of the main reasons I’ve come to the club.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time under him at Hull. We had a successful period there and I’m looking to do something similar here.

I played with Anton Ferdinand for a couple of years at Sunderland so we know each other well and each other’s game well.

– Michael Turner, Southend United

The centre-back is the second high-profile Southend recruit in recent days following the capture of winger Michael Kightly last week.

Simon Dobbin trial: Jury retires to consider verdict

Simon Dobbin from Mildenhall was assaulted following United's game with Southend Credit: ITV News Anglia

The jury in the trail of thirteen men accused of being involved in an attack on a Cambridge United football fan have, in the last hour, begun to consider their verdicts.

Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, was left unable to walk or talk after he was brutally attacked after a match at Southend's Roots Hall in March 2015.

He spent a year in hospital after being hit and stamped on repeatedly.

A total of 13 defendants standing trial at Basildon Crown Court charged in connection with the attack, deny conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

Simon Dobbin trial: Defendant claims he 'saw nothing'

The defence has begun in the trial of 13 men accused of attacking a Suffolk father after a football match that left him needing round-the-clock care.

Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, suffered a life-changing brain injury when he was assaulted in March 2015 outside The Railway Pub in Southend.

After being treated in hospital for almost a year, Simon returned home in March 2016. His condition means he is unable to move or speak.

The prosecution said the only defendant who was giving evidence was maintaining he "saw nothing, heard nothing and did nothing."

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Adam Thompson: Southend defender opts to join Bury

Adam Thompson has made more than 100 appearances for Southend. Credit: PA

Southend United defender Adam Thompson has opted to join League One rivals Bury after rejecting a new deal at Roots Hall.

The 24-year-old Northern Ireland international was offered improved terms at Southend, but turned the proposal down in order to push through a move to Gigg Lane instead.

The news will come as a blow to the Shrimpers who also lost winger Will Atkinson to Mansfield Town earlier this week.

Thompson attracted interest from a number of clubs, but decided to sign a three-year contract at Bury.

I am delighted to have signed Adam. He's a fantastic player who is used to playing at the top end of League One, having just missed out on promotion to the Championship with Southend United.

I have seen Adam operate at close quarters this season and he was very impressive, and it's that impressive form which has led to his call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.

Adam is a fantastic signing for us. I am thrilled to have signed a young, talented, international player who is at the age where we can still help him develop and he can help us improve.

– Lee Clark, Bury manager

Meanwhile, Cambridge United have signed midfielder Gary Deegan on a two-year deal following his exit from League One club Shrewsbury Town.

Southend United considering striker Nile Ranger's future

Ranger admitted switching over £2,000 from a woman's account to another in 2015. Credit: PA

Southend United say they'll take time to consider striker Nile Ranger's future, after he was jailed for online banking fraud.

The 26-year-old joined the Shrimpers last August, and signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with the League One club in December.

He's been jailed for eight months after admitting to charges of conspiracy to defraud by obtaining bank details and transferring money.

The club needs time to consider its position and also the impact of this startling, unexpected, outcome...

This offence occurred long before Nile joined the club and everyone deserves a second chance, which the club has afforded Nile.

Nile Ranger is unlikely to ever be a model professional, however during his time at Southend his behaviour has been acceptable and improved.

– Ron Martin, Chairman

Southend United ready for one last play-off push

It's last chance saloon for Southend United this weekend in their bid to break into League One play-offs.

Agonisingly, they're still a point outside the top six going into their final game of the season against Bury on Sunday but defeat for Millwall could open the door.

Elsewhere, Northampton Town midfielder John-Joe O'Toole has signed a new two-year contract ahead of their game against Gillingham at Sixfields.

This weekend's other fixtures

  • Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday (The Championship)
  • Leeds United v Norwich City (The Championship)
  • Bolton Wanderers v Peterborough United (League One)
  • Northampton Town v Gillingham (League One)
  • Walsall v MK Dons (League One)
  • Accrington Stanley v Luton Town (League Two)
  • Cambridge United v Crawley Town (League Two)
  • Leyton Orient v Colchester United (League Two)
  • Yeovil Town v Stevenage (League Two)
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