There were six trialists at the Stockport friendly tonight. Don’t expect many to sign.
Bolton continued their pre-season preparations with a not particularly exciting-sounding goalless draw away to Stockport County. While they never looked troubled at the back, it is now three games on the bounce where Wanderers have failed to find the net. You do have to think this could be a familiar theme once the real season gets underway.
It was a particularly experimental lineup tonight though, particularly when looking at the number of trialists on show tonight. One was Alex Bruce, who is continued to be looked at as his audition moves into a second week, but there five others in the squad. All are fairly young, and after doing some digging all the players come from a non-league background, or in the case of Zack Hadji (yes, he is Mustapha`s son) has trawled the lower leagues in continental Europe. One of them, Michael Atkinson, a Belize international, has even been a personal trainer recently, so at least the squad`s fitness will be in peak condition.
These players are probably being looked at with a view to bolstering the under-23 side. We`ve had a few acquisitions like this in recent years. Hayden White, Joe McKee and Yannick Bastos are all players randomly brought to the club and never really ever looked like getting a regular run in the first team, and I imagine these players would largely end up the same way.
A more complete picture of the first team should emerge when Phil Parkinson names his lineup to face Stoke at the Macron on Saturday afternoon. You would assume, even hope that he names what he plans to be his Leeds XI that day.