09:00AM, Monday 17 May 2021
Having run the rule over ‘hungry young players’ at a recent trial match at Arbour Park, Neil Baker expects that one or two of them to sign for the club this season.
The Rebels received more than 250 applicants for the trial, aimed at players currently playing at steps 3-5, and 28 were invited to take part, with a few of the club’s u23s players drafted in to make up the numbers.
Five are set to return for pre-season training later in the summer and will be given a few more opportunities to impress ahead of the new season.
Reflecting on the event, Baker said: “Maybe a couple of them aren’t quite ready, but we’d like to watch them a little bit closer and then we might keep tabs on them if we don’t take them on immediately.
“There are three there we’d consider bringing in for this season, and it may only be one or two.
“But there was a lot of young talent on show, hungry players and we were very pleased with the quality.
“For us to get even one player from it would be a real bonus, and I think we’ll definitely get one signed, possibly two, we’ll have to see where we go.”
Baker added that the club’s u23s players who took part in the match also acquitted themselves well and, even if they’re not ready to go straight into the Rebels first team this season, the club might explore the possibility of a tie up with another local club to get them some experience in senior men’s football.
“We had three u23s who played on the night,” he said.
“We had one or two players drop out due to injury and they came in to make up the numbers.
“But watching the u23s this season they’ve obviously been very good. They’ve got some good players and we’ve highlighted two that we’d like alongside us for pre-season and there may be one or two others as well.
“They’re getting plenty of opportunities to impress. For some of them it may be a step too far, but, again, we might be able to tie something up with a local club as well. A few of them should be playing senior football this season so, yeah, it’s only positive really.
“We’ve got to be pleased with how the u23s has worked this season and Ash and the guys have put a fantastic team together.”
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