FORMER Manchester City star Jeff Whitley is being given the chance to rebuild his career at Northwich.

The ex-Northern Ireland international penned non-contract terms with the Blue Square Premier strugglers today after leaving UniBond Leaguers Woodley Sports.

“I’m sure he can come in and do a job for us,” said caretaker manager Andy Preece.

“With Joel [Byrom] suspended it leaves us desperately short of cover in midfield, so hopefully Jeff will slot in there.”

Whitley, 30, trained with Championship leaders Wolves after being freed by Wrexham upon their relegation from the Football League last summer.

He then joined Woodley in January.

Northwich is the latest stop on his road to recovery following battles with alcohol and drug addiction in recent times.

The Zambia-born midfielder, who had a trial for Vics under previous manager Steve King, has made no secret of his desire to return to full-time football.

He signed for City at the age of ten and, after progressing through the club's youth system, went on to make more than 120 senior appearances.

He subsequently switched to Sunderland, where he was a member of their Championship-winning side in 2005.

But, despite also being capped 20 times by Northern Ireland, Whitley went on a downward spiral after leaving the Stadium of Light.

He will be joined be another new face on the pitch tomorrow afternoon – long-time Vics target Kyle Perry.

The striker has signed on a month-long loan from Port Vale and is expected to replace banned Jonny Allan in attack.