Town embarking on some talent spotting

Gareth McLelland
Gareth McLelland
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Chief Scout Gareth McLelland is hoping FC Halifax Town’s trial day will unearth a few hidden gems.

The club are holding a special trial event at Stockport Sports Village next month, with the best applicants getting the chance to train with the Shaymen and possibly earn a professional contract.

McLelland says the aim is to find players capable of challenging for a first-team berth.

He said: “Ideally we’ll get four or five good players from it but we want to get people who will compete for a place in the first-team, short-term or long-term.

“The best four or five will be selected to join pre-season training and maybe get some match time and possibly a contract.

“There’ll be a lot of second-year YTS lads and first year pro’s.

“But the main thing is we want hungry players who want the opportunity to play for us such as Matt Pearson, James Bolton and Alex Johnson - they all came into the team and had a real impact.

“We’ve got to look at who’s got the potential.”

McLelland and new head of youth development Steve Nichol will be overseeing the day.

Trialists will pay £60 for the chance to impress the duo, and the former Woodley Sports boss is hoping for a good turnout.

He added: “We wanted it to take place at the Shay but that couldn’t happen because of the work going on there.

“But the sports village is a state-of-the-art facility with 3G pitches, so it’ll provide a good environment.

“Barnet did it last year and had a lot of applicants and Stockport did it the year before

“We’ve already had a lot of applications and people showing interest.

“I’ve had a lot of telephone calls from players who are interested so there should be a big catchment available,

The more players we get to choose from the better and that benefit the club financially too.”

Meanwhile, former Town captain Tom Baker has extended his deal at Evo-Stik Premier Division side Chorley.

The popular midfielder joined the Magpies from Ashton United and helped the club to an eighth-placed finish last season.

Former Town striker James Walshaw has signed for Conference North side Altrincham from Guiseley after claiming he was left in the dark about a new deal at Nethermoor.

Another ex-Town forward, Darryn Stamp, has been named as the new assistant manager at Gainsborough Trinity.

At Harrogate, former Shaymen winger Lee Elam has been released while ex-Town wide man Craig Nelthorpe has joined the club.