Midfield maestro Keith Jennings is determined to hang on to his place in the Hogges starting XI after signing with the squad until the end of the season.

Jennings, who initially turned down the chance to play for the team when it formed in 2007, was one of five players called in as cover while half the current Hogges squad was on national team duty.

He showed enough in centre midfield for Hogges bosses to offer him, along with fellow stand-in Blenn Bean, a contract to the end of the season.

Now he is keen to play a major role in helping the Hogges move up the table.

"Competition for places is always good and with the guys coming back from the national team, it's going to make the squad stronger. The final choice lies with the coaches, I just have to keep training and let my game speak for itself.

"I think the players that have come in have accomplished a lot in a short space of time, so I don't think it should be a problem...

"I'm starting to catch a little bit of form. I've been out for six months but I'm slowly getting back to where I was."

Jennings said he was happy to be back and insisted there had been no bad blood over his initial decision to snub the Hogges.

"They respected my decision at the time. I always said I could be willing to play in the future if they wanted me and here I am."

Jennings will be in the squad for the visit of league leaders Charlotte Eagles on Saturday - a game which co-owner Shaun Goater hopes can launch a successful second half of the season for the Hogges.

"We broke our losing streak on Sunday and I really feel we can kick on from there," he said.

The Hogges lost 4-0 to Richmond Kickers and managed a 1-0 defeat and a 3-1 victory in last weekend's double-header against the Wilmington Hammerheads - the three games they played without their national stars. Goater said he was pleased with the way the team had handled a tricky situation and welcomed back his big name players.

He added: "Some of them will be down about the Trinidad result but it's our job to make sure they get it out of their system and are ready to get back into the Hogges season."