Richard Logan has been barred from playing at senior level until now, under the terms of the former Exeter City striker's departure from Wycombe Wanderers earlier this season.
Torquay United manager Martin Ling – Logan has just started training with the Gulls – revealed the reason why the ex-Ipswich Town, Boston United, Peterborough United and Exeter forward has been in limbo for several months.
After his release by the Grecians last May, 31-year-old Logan joined Wycombe in July and made ten senior appearances for the Chairboys until leaving Adams Park in mid-November.
He had a brief spell at Dorchester Town and then, back in his native Suffolk, signed for Ryman League club Bury Town last week.
"Richard had a pay-up at Wycombe, and the terms of that meant he couldn't play for another League Two or Conference club for a while," said Ling. "That has passed now that January has come around."
Ling continues to stress that it is too early to speculate on what Logan's trial at Torquay may prompt. "He had no professional club to go to, so he's a player out there doing nothing," said Ling, who is in the market for a forward signing.
"He's back down here in Devon, and I'm happy for him to be training with us.
"He's joined in, run around in the mud with the rest of the players so far, but we don't really know what sort of shape he's in yet. We'll see where it takes us – that's as far as it goes. I'm not saying 'No' and I'm not saying 'Yes'."
Finding half-decent training facilities remains a problem and a priority for Torquay, because most areas of their under-development Seale Hayne HQ are unusable at the moment. United are currently looking for alternative sites to use on an occasional and temporary basis.
After a day off today, Ling's squad will train tomorrow and Sunday in the build-up to Monday night's "back-to-back" return Devon derby away to Exeter City at St James' Park.
The Plainmoor pitch itself is not in great shape, but the Gulls may use it on Sunday, just to get a full grass session in before heading to St James' Park.