MAX Stryjek will make his farewell appearance in the Eastleigh goal at home to Harrogate Town on Saturday (3pm).

Stryjek’s loan from Sunderland is due to expire and the homesick 22-year-old will not be staying on at the Silverlake – even if the Black Cats were agreeable to extending the arrangement.

Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens confirmed: “Saturday will be Max’s last game for the club.

“The rules mean we couldn’t extend his loan before January even if we wanted to, but Max doesn’t want to stay.

“It’s nothing to do with the club, he’s been struggling with homesickness for the last month.

“Max has been brilliant for us and he has a great future in the game, but he’s not been himself these last few weeks.

"His girlfriend’s up north and he’s been given permission by Sunderland to go home and see his family in Poland over Christmas.

“I’m not even sure Sunderland would have let him come back to us anyway. He’ll go back and push to be their number two 'keeper.”

With goalkeeper coach Ross Flitney due to undergo a knee operation today, which will sideline him for four to six weeks, the race is on to get a new stopper signed on ahead of Boxing Day’s Hampshire derby at Havant & Waterlooville (3pm).

Strevens is working hard to strike up another loan arrangement with a professional club by early next week.

“Whoever we bring in will hopefully stay with us for the rest of the season,” he stressed. “I don’t want to be chopping and changing goalkeepers all the time.

“This next one will be our fourth this season (after Graham Stack, Flitney and Stryjek) and I don’t want there to be a fifth and a sixth. I want to keep a settled side.”

On that note, Strevens is hopeful of having a fully fit outfield contingent available this weekend for the first time in his managerial reign.

Oscar Gobern, Reda Johnson and Alex Wynter are all expected back after missing last Saturday’s 2-1 FA Trophy exit at Hemel Hempstead, and Jack McKnight, their new midfield signing from Basingstoke, will be in the squad for the first time.

“With Wynts, Reda and Oscar out, Jack would have played at Hemel had he not been cup-tied,” said Strevens. “He’s trained well and shown some real good things so, yes, he’ll be involved.”

Harrogate, promoted via last season’s NL North play-offs, are one of the surprise packages this term.

They sit third on 46 points, ten clear of ninth-placed Eastleigh, and have won six and drawn three of 12 on the road.

Eastleigh, who have drawn their last four at the Silverlake, will be keen to avenge September’s 4-0 drubbing at Harrogate during Andy Hessenthaler’s time at the helm.

Town will be without injured frontman Jordan Thewlis, but former Eastleigh loan defender Callum Howe has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of the 2-1 Trophy win over York City.