Hamza Bencherif has signed a permanent deal with the York City after spending the second half of last season on loan at Bootham Crescent.
The twenty nine year old joined the Minstermen on loan from Wrexham last January but was unable to help them escape from relegation into the Vanarama National League North.
However, he did find success with the club by playing a key role in the FA Trophy Final win over Macclesfield Town.
The defender – who can also operate in midfield – played the entire ninety minutes as Aidan Connolly’s late winner secured a 3-2 win over the Silkmen.
Bencherif began his career in Nottingham Forest’s academy and has had spells with the likes of Macclesfield Town, Lincoln City and FC Halifax Town.
It was Gary Mills that took Bencherif to Wrexham at the start of the 2016/17 season.
And when the former Nottingham Forest star returned for a second spell as Minstermen manager, he made signing the Paris-born player a priority.
A loan deal was agreed in January and now Bencherif has penned a one-year deal with the Bootham Crescent club, as they look to secure an immediate return to the National League.
After putting pen to paper Bencherif said “It feels great to be back and to see the same faces. It’s something I have been thinking about since the last game of last season so now that it’s all sorted and official I am really happy.
“Everybody wants to stay to make it right for the fans and it’s starting to take shape.
“We have seen how great they are, and how good we can be together, that is what we want. To get more emotions and success for them. We can give them a lot of stuff for them to be happy about and work towards a target of getting promoted this year”
The Minstermen confirmed another new signing shortly after the Bencherif deal was announced as striker Michael Rankine agreed to a third spell with the club.
Rankine’s first spell at Bootham Crescent came between 2009 and 2011, when he scored twenty goals in eighty five appearances.
He left to join Aldershot Town after rejecting a contract offer by City, but returned on loan during the second half of the 2012/13 season.
His eight appearances failed to produce a goal and the loan spell was terminated early by then-City boss Nigel Worthington.
Since leaving Aldershot he has spent time with Hereford United, Gateshead, Altrincham and Guiseley, but will now hope it’s third time lucky with York City.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Reuters Media