Charlestown have recruited former national league player Adam Hughes to lead their injury-hit defence for the rest of the Northern NSW NPL season.
Coach David Tanchevski said Hughes agreed to terms with the Blues on Wednesday night ahead of the deadline for NPL roster changes closing on Thursday afternoon.
The 36-year-old started his professional career with Newcastle United in 2001 before stints at Wollongong Wolves.
He played in England with Doncaster Rovers and in Ireland with Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United before A-League stints with Adelaide (2009-11) and Perth (2011-12).
The brother of former Charlestown defender Ben Hughes then played in China with Zhejiang Yiteng until 2018.
Tanchevski said Hughes would provide experience and leadership at the back for the Blues, who are eighth on nine points from six games.
He said starting defenders Kev Davison (ankle), Tom Smart (hamstring) and Cameron Sullini (knee) were out injured, leaving Charlestown thin on options at the back. However, Hughes will not play for three to four weeks himself because of a knee problem.
"What we really miss from last year with Ljubo [Milicevic] not there now is that experienced head at the back to talk and organise, so Adam will give us that," Tanchevski said.
Charlestown will also bring former Olympic attacker Beau McDonald into their top roster.
The Blues take on Hamilton at Darling Street Oval on Saturday from 2.30pm in a round-four washout game.
Hamilton, meanwhile, have gained striker Kent Harrison from the Newcastle Jets Youth team.
Harrison was the Jets Youth's leading scorer from 2018 with seven goals in 19 games and has made four appearances this season.
Olympic coach Peter McGuinness, who worked with Harrison when with the Emerging Jets, said the attacker was a "very good addition".
"He can play anywhere in the top three," McGuinness said.
"He likes to make forward runs and score goals and he'll give us more depth in the front third."
Valentine have picked up former Jets Youth player Rhyan Smith from Hamilton.
Co-coach Darren Sills said Smith would likely bolster their defence at right-back. Phoenix, who are second last on four points, have conceded 18 goals in five games this season.
The club also welcomed back attacker Aaron Niyonkuru to their roster after he returned from trials in Spain.
Last-placed Lake Macquarie, who have conceded 23 goals in seven games, have also strengthened their defence with Callum Bower from Edgeworth.
Bower went to the Eagles this year from Weston but has moved on after the return of Keanu Moore and Nate Cavaliere to Edgeworth's roster this week.
Lake Macquarie coach Nick Webb said he was in need of another centre-back and was pleased to pick up Bower.