‘Ninja’ Dowie returns to Boston United... and does that signal a return to 4-4-2?

Jay Dowie.
Jay Dowie.

Dennis Greene could be completing his Boston United squad by adding a clutch of players from down south.

Last night the Pilgrims boss confirmed that midfield battler Jay Dowie - who had spells with both United and Histon last season, but has been trialling with Yeovil Town this summer - will be lining up at the Jakemans Stadium for the upcoming campaign.

Stevenage-based Dowie will turn out on Saturday as Boston host a Sunderland XI, and fellow midfielders Jake Hall, who lives in London, and Aaron Greene, who is also based down south, will continue on trial.

Left back Rene Steer, who is under contract but has only been attending weekend matches due to the commute from his Wembley home, will also be in action this weekend.

“Jay Dowie will be back on Saturday, he’ll be with us full time now,” Greene confirmed. “Its fantastic news, he is the cog in midfield that we’re missing. He’s our energy.

“He’s our little ninja. He’s everywhere. He’s key to us. I’m really pleased to have him back.

“So we’ll have Rene back, Jay back, Aaron Greene will be up on Saturday and Jake Hall will be up on Saturday.”

Pilgrims fans know all about box-to-box midfielder Hall following his brief spell with the club last season, while Greene - the manager’s nephew - has looked lively on the wing in pre-season.

Although Hall and Dowie appear the manager’s preferred options in midfield, alongside Conor Marshall, he will give former Nottingham Forest youngsters Michael Hollingworth and Danny Meadows furth chances to shine after being impressed by their performances while on trial.

“Danny and Michael have done consistently well,” the manager said, before confirming his other trialists have been cut free.

Blake Thompson, Elliot Hodge, Adrian Grociak, Jamie Anton and Carlos Djalo are among those two have tried their luck with the Pilgrims during the summer, but who have been told their futures lie elsewhere.

However, there may still be room for a new striker in Greene’s squad.

With Marc Newsham sidelined and Ricky Miller joining Luton Town, Dayle Southwell and Charley Sanders are currently United’s only out-and-out available front men.

Other options include shuffling Scott Garner and Jamie McGhee into attack.

Greene added: “There might be a surprise in the bag over the next week or so, who knows?

“I’m just playing it by ear at the moment, there may be something in the locker. Dastardly and Muttley always had a cunning plan.”

Greene is looking to build a squad he believes will be able to operate in a 4-4-2 formation this season.

Although he favoured an attacking 4-3-3 formation at York Street last season, complemented by a 3-5-2 shape at the homes of more attacking opposition, Greene has new plans for his new squad.

The manager confirmed that he is looking to utilise the pace of McGhee, Kaine Felix and possibly Greene down the flanks, with overlapping support from a selection of Zak Mills, Steer and Duran Reynolds, who can all operate as full backs.

Greene played a 4-4-2 formation during last night’s 3-1 victory at Lincoln United, which meant Garner returning to his familiar defensive role alongside Carl Piergianni.

If the manager does stick with this shape then he could well pick a midfield two from Marshall, Hall and Dowie with Dayle Southwell in attack, alongside one of Newsham, Sanders, possibly Garner or maybe even his ‘cunning plan’.

“I think 4-4-2 is a real threat and that can become a diamond away from home,” Greene added.

“Rene and Zak are as god as any attacking full backs at this level. Away from home they can get down the side and at home they can push down and overlap.

“We’ll also have two strong bodies in the centre of the park, which we didn’t always have last season.”