Just when you think Nile Ranger is beginning to overcome his personal problems with a series of good performances at Southend United, the striker is jailed for eight months for online banking fraud.
Southend now have a decision to make on the future of the player, but it seems likely that the Essex club will cut ties with the former Newcastle United man.
Boss Phil Brown will now be in the market for a new forward, and will turn his attention to acquiring a striker capable of leading the line for his promotion chasers next season.
The Shrimpers suffered heartache on the final day of the season, when a late goal for eventual play-off winners Millwall confirmed their place in the top six at the expense of Southend.
Brown may be tempted to look further down the football pyramid to find his new man, and might only have to take a short drive across Essex to find the man to lead the line.
Braintree Town’s Michael Cheek was lethal in the National League this season despite his team’s ultimate relegation, and recorded an impressive 19 goals across the course of the campaign.
With the club set for the National League South and Cheek’s contract up, a move to Southend would be an excellent move for the player.
Former Braintree manager Hakan Hayrettin, who departed the club at the end of the season, stated last year that Cheek could play in the Football League, and this admission may come true this summer.
Cheek has undoubtedly proven himself at National League level, and the next step in the progression of his career should be taken with Southend United.
A free transfer and a proven track record, the signing of Cheek should be high on the agenda of Phil Brown, and the former Hull City boss should look to move for the player before contract offers begin to materialise elsewhere.