CRAIG McAllister is “buzzing” to be back at Eastleigh after rejoining the National League club for the rest of the season.

Paperwork allowing, the Bitterne Park-based targetman will be back in the Spitfires squad for tomorrow’s big home game against promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers.

The 36-year-old frontrunner is Eastleigh through and through having started out at Stoneham Lane before going on to play for the likes of Woking, Exeter and Crawley.

He returned to the Silverlake in the summer of 2012, becoming a key cog in Richard Hill’s Conference South-winning Eastleigh machine of 2013/14 before being appointed player/assistant manager for their maiden National League voyage.

But McAllister was unable to agree fresh terms with Hill and admits he was “devastated” to be released in the summer of 2015.

He found a new home among friends at Sutton United, playing for ex-Eastleigh bosses Paul Doswell and Ian Baird, but now that his time at Gander Green Lane has come to an end, he can’t think of anywhere he would rather be.

“I didn’t really get a chance to say it, but I was gutted to leave Eastleigh. I was looking for a bit of a longer contract and couldn’t agree terms,” he said.

“Now I’m just so excited to be back.

“I spoke to a few clubs and this (joining Eastleigh) came out of the blue. I couldn’t say ‘no’. I never wanted to leave in the first place.

“At this moment Eastleigh are underachieving, but now we'll finish the season strong and if I can play a part in getting them into the Football League, I’d love that.

“I had a bad injury in January last year and tore my MCL (medial collateral ligament), so I missed the back end of last season with Sutton.

“Six months out of football's a long time. I went on loan to Eastbourne Borough for a month, came back and started doing well at Sutton, but it dwindled away and I was only getting ten minutes here and there off the bench.

“Dos and I came to an agreement (to release him). I wanted to play and also put myself in the shop window for next season.”

McAllister’s arrival is a huge boost for Eastleigh who have been without 6ft 4in forward Darius Henderson for the last two games due to a neck injury.

They were crying out for some height and physicality up top on Tuesday as their poor run of home results rolled on with a 2-0 defeat to Braintree.

It left them 13th in the National League, 11 points off the play-off zone.

Defender Reda Johnson is unlikely to face Tranmere after picking up another injury against Braintree.

“Reda got a knock on his hip and wasn’t able to play on,” Allen confirmed. “I doubt he’ll be fit for Saturday."