County trialists set to play at Evesham
NEWPORT County AFC will give up to three trialists a run-out in their opening pre-season friendly at Evesham United tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).
Manager Justin Edinburgh will run the rule over defender Joe Carter and midfielders Mark Byrne and Jack Simmons against their Southern League opponents.
All three have been training with the Exiles since last week along with fellow trialists Chris Jones and Sheldon Sellears, who are likely to feature at Cirencester Town on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re looking at five players at the moment who have been recommended or that I already know and we’ll probably play a few against Evesham and a few on Saturday,” said Edinburgh.
“The three that will take part at Evesham are Joe Carter, a left-back who has played for Charlton and Gillingham, Mark Byrne, who used to be with me at Rushden & Diamonds and has now been released by Barnet, and Jack Simmons a left winger from Colchester.
“We’ve also got Chris Jones from TNS and another lad called Sheldon Sellears who’s come from Canvey Island and been recommended to me a couple of times.
“In the next couple of games we’ll get a look at all of them.”
Jones was previously on trial with County in the summer of 2012 and played in a friendly defeat at Undy United before signing for TNS in the Welsh Premier League.
Of the contracted players only goalkeeper Jamie Stephens and defenders Byron Anthony and Ismail Yakubu are unavailable for tonight’s match.
Stephens and Anthony are both progressing well as they recover from operations while Yakubu is at the English FA headquarters at St George’s Park.
“One or two are a bit stiff but I don’t foresee any problems,” said Edinburgh.
“Jamie is recovering well and Ish won’t play either.
“He’s gone to St George’s Park for four days for a full assessment on his ankle, which he injured last season.
“The players get one free visit a year, which is really good because they get a thorough examination and the facilities and technology there are fantastic.
“It was already booked before we came back and Ish is well ahead of schedule having completed every training session last week.
“But we felt we’d take the opportunity for him to go there anyway and he’ll be back with us on Thursday and ready to play on Saturday.”