Olywhites defender to play for his seventh Scottish club this season

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Olywhites defender George Stanger (21) has signed for Scottish league one club Alloa Athletic — the seventh Scottish club of his five-year professional career.

The New Zealand U-20 and U-23 international has been reunited with manager Brian Rice who signed him to his first professional contract, at Hamilton Academical in 2018.

Having played in several pre-season friendlies as a trialist, Stanger has been given a contract after his release from University of Stirling.

Speaking to the Advertiser Sport newspaper, Stanger said: “I’m loving every minute of it since I’ve came through the door.

“Obviously I’ve worked with the gaffer before so I had a rough idea of what the environment was going to be like and he spoke very highly of the club and the lads and everyone’s been very welcoming.

“We’ve had a lot of games but for me that’s the most important thing, it’s the most enjoyable part of football. I’ve managed to be involved in a lot of it so far so I’ve loved every minute.”

Stanger spent last season on loan with Dumbarton.

Stanger: ‘For me, the key thing is I want to play games’

He said Rice had always kept in touch.

“I think it was when the (last) season was done he started asking what I was doing for the season.

“As soon as I knew he was interested and the club were interested then it was something that really appealed to me. I’ve worked with the gaffer before, I know what he’s all about and what he wants.

“He really sold the club to me and spoke very highly of it.

“For me, the key thing is I want to play games, I want to play football and I think this is a really good place for me to do that. We’ve got a really good squad and I’m really excited to get into the competitive stuff and get going.”

Stanger is the son of former Scotland rugby winger Tony Stanger but qualifies to play for New Zealand through his Auckland-born mother, Bid.

He began his football career with Hamilton Academical in 2018 and has since had loan spells with Stirling Albion, East Kilbridge and Forfar Athletic before joining University of Sterling last year.

Stanger played for the Olywhites at the Tokyo Olympics last year when the side were knocked out at the quarter finals stage, after a penalty shootout with Japan.

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