GWENT striker Christian Doidge has returned to Forest Green Rovers to help the bid for Football League survival.

The 31-year-old striker from Cwmbran has left Hibernian after four-and-a-half years to go back to the New Lawn on a permanent deal.

Rovers, who recently appointed Steve Cotterill as their third boss of the season, are bottom of League Two and nine points from safety.

They will hope Doidge can fire them up the table after the Welsh striker scored 66 goals in 122 appearances previously in Gloucestershire.

The former Cwmbran Celtic and Croesyceiliog forward played 28 times for Hibs this season but Forest Green have paid an undisclosed fee for his return on what the Scottish side called a “long-term contract”.

Doidge said: “I’m delighted to be back. I had such a great time here before and it feels like a fantastic opportunity to come back.

“I always had a feeling I’d be back. I love it here. To come back to a club where I’ve had so many memories, it made so much sense.

“It’s a fantastic football club and I’ve had my most enjoyable moments here. Hopefully that happens again.”

South Wales Argus: Gwent striker Christian Doidge in action for Hibs against Aston VillaGwent striker Christian Doidge in action for Hibs against Aston Villa (Image: Press Association)

Doidge was signed by former Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom from Forest Green in the summer of 2019 and scored 43 goals in 148 appearances.

However, injuries and managerial changes have had a negative impact on Doidge’s game time in recent seasons, with the Welshman spending most of last term on loan at Kilmarnock.

“I would like to thank Chris for his efforts this season and his time at the club,” said manager Nick Montgomery.

“It has been a difficult season for him with a few injuries and lack of game time, but he has always been a model professional.

“The opportunity for Chris to take a long-term contract back at a club he knows incredibly well was one we all agreed would be in the best interests for both parties.”

Doidge will need to hit the ground running if he is to avoid playing in the National League next season.

Forest Green are nine points behind both Doncaster and Colchester after totting up just 19 in 28 fixtures so far.

They face a key clash at Colchester on Saturday before fixtures with the promotion-chasing pair of Mansfield and Barrow.