NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh will decide the fate of his trialists today after new boy Joe Parker shone in an impressive 5-0 win at Cirencester Town on Saturday.
Defenders Joe Carter and Sheldon Sellears, midfielder Mark Byrne and winger Jack Simmons all played 45 minutes against the Southern League side.
And the quartet will learn today whether they’ve done enough to convince Edinburgh that they have a future at Rodney Parade.
Chris Jones missed the match due to a tight hamstring and will continue to train with the Exiles.
Edinburgh hopes Jones will play some part either at Weston-super-Mare tomorrow, Croesyceiliog on Wednesday or against Gloucester City at Cinderford at the weekend.
After Aaron O’Connor’s first half opener at the Corinium Stadium, Rene Howe grabbed two goals in the second half before Parker and Mike Flynn wrapped up the win late on.
But it was the superb solo goal from Parker, who beat three men and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper, which caught the eye.
Edinburgh was full of praise for the 19-year-old striker newly arrived from Gloucester.
“He looks an exciting prospect and a bright talent,” said the Exiles boss.
“He gives us a new dimension; he’s very quick and agile and took his goal very well.
“Tony James has put him on a strengthening programme and I think we will have to ease him in slowly but surely and get him equipped for day to day training and the long season ahead.
“But he certainly showed that he’s a got a talent there.”
Andy Sandell also missed Saturday’s match with a slight hamstring strain and goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley was in discomfort due to the poor playing surface.
The former Chelsea stopper posted on Twitter after the match: “Pass back. Bobble. Air shot. Groin hanging off.”
Max Porter was sidelined by a groin injury picked up at Evesham United last week but Edinburgh backed the midfielder to bounce back quickly.
“The initial feeling was huge disappointment and it still is but I don’t think it’s as bad as we first thought,” said Edinburgh.
“It’s a different injury and we’re hopeful that he could be back in six to eight weeks.
“It could have been worse but it’s not the news we wanted in our first game back and certainly not for Max.
“He’s been through an awful lot over the last 18 months but, the kind of character he is and the way he looks after himself, if anyone can get back quicker it will be him.
“It’s a big blow but if there’s any time to get injured it’s now when there aren’t competitive games to miss.
“Hopefully he can get himself fit soon and we can get him back in the team.”