Alfie Beestin will still have the opportunity to earn himself a new contract at Doncaster Rovers despite his loan spell at Chesterfield coming to a frustrating early end.
Spireites boss John Sheridan opted against extending the loan deal for Beestin, who failed to add to his five appearances for the National League club after the appointment of the former Republic of Ireland international in early January.
Rovers manager Grant McCann greeted the 21-year-old on his return with a message that it is up to him to impress over the next six weeks or so to earn an extension to his contract, which is due to expire this summer.
“He didn't get as many games as he'd have liked over there,” McCann said.
“A manager brought him in who has since left in Martin Allen and then John Sheridan has come in after
“He's taken Jack Mackay from Cardiff, he's got Denton, Marc-Antoine Fortune. He's got quite a few - Alex Kiwomya is not getting a game now.
“We expected Alfie to come back.
“He's here, back in, part of the group.
“We'll give him a week or two to get back in and acclimatised with the group and then we'll get him playing in the U23 games.
“I've told him to try to impress and get himself in and around the first team group.
“It's still up to him.
“There will be no decision made until later in the season for Alfie - late March or April.
“It's really down to him.”
McCann has previously stated Beestin’s lack of opportunities during his reign at the Keepmoat have been as a result of the versatile attacking player not nailing down a specific position with the 4-3-3 system.
The Rovers boss says Beestin will not be able to force his way into the forward three and must instead focus on a place in the midfield trio, if he is going to have a future at the club.
“I think in the way we play, he'd play in the Ali Crawford or Herbie Kane role, as it were,” McCann said.
“I don't think he could play in the front three. We've got six forwards who can play in that position already.
“We've only got five midfielders.
“If he wants to take that sixth spot, it's down to him to train well every day.
“But he's got some good kids underneath him like Cody Prior and AJ Greaves so it's down to him.”