Often Partisan

A Tale of Eight Trialists – AFC Telford v Blues Development Squad

Blues took a young development team to the New Bucks Head to face Andy Sinton’s AFC Telford. Blues included six trialists – Darren Carter and Lee Naylor along with youngsters David Viana, Jeremy Balmy, Wilson Carvalho and Jules Diouf in their starting eleven as Richard Beale returned to one of his old stomping grounds.

As games go this one was scrappy; low on chances and flair and high on aggression and physicality. Blues failed to stretch Telford keeper Ryan Young significantly with Carter’s first half shot that hit the base of the right hand post about as good as it got; Telford had two disallowed goals in the first half that the crowd at least thought were legitimate but on the whole this wasn’t a spectacle.

Due to the large nature of trialists playing – Blues started with six and bought on a further two in the second half – it was difficult for the team to put together much of a rhythm. Carter and Naylor were both solid in their positions and I think there is an argument that Carter was probably Blues’ man of the match.

Of the others – well, they had a lot of what you’d expect from foreign trialists. Exotic names, flashy boots and in Jeremy Balmy’s case a big hairdo – but on the pitch where it counted none of them tore up trees especially. Young French attacking midfielder Balmy started well in the withdrawn striker role but after a few nice early touches he quickly faded out the game and for long periods was a complete passenger. Similarly, French-Portuguese winger David Viana looked interesting to begin with, making some good early runs but his distribution let him down and he started giving the ball away often.

Wilson Carvalho, who has been with the club since the start of the season and has had spells with Fulham, Stevenage and the Nike Academy was probably the brightest of the three attacking trialists that started, as he stuck at his role and tried his best to make something happen. Carvalho has more than a passing resemblance to Julian Gray and like the erstwhile left winger Carvalho did bottle a couple of challenges – however, Wilson also showed that he could at least hold on to it and lay it off to a team-mate on a much more frequent basis than the other two.

Jules Diouf looked solid enough in defence; as you’d expect from a Senegalese centre-back he took no prisoners when he challenged for the ball but he did win it cleanly more often than not and I think he showed some promise. Despite being stretchered off late in the second half he should be okay and I hope the club are able to take another look at him.

Blues brought on Ibrahim Farah late on in the second half as a replacement for Wilson Carvalho, but he didn’t get much time to impress. Farah is an ex-Cardiff City winger who had announced to twitter he was coming to Blues and probably hadn’t been with the club long enough to be able to start the game.

The sixth young trialist Blues used was Marcel Henry-Francis, a 19-year-old striker released by QPR at the end of last season. Henry-Francis didn’t get much time on the ball but made some direct runs in his short cameo and maybe showed that he has something to offer if given a longer run on the pitch.

As games go it wasn’t the best, but it was good to see some of the young guns out there. I would say that it also showed that despite some good-looking skills on youtube that there is a reason that most trialists don’t make it. However, Blues have got spaces to fill for their new u21 team in the Professional Development League under the EPPP so I suspect that they’ll continue to look for more hidden gems that maybe have gotten away elsewhere.

Final Score 0-0

David Lucas, Jack Deaman, Lee Naylor, Mitchell Hancox (Brice Ntambwe), Will Packwood, Jules Diouf (Emmit Delfouneso), David Viana (Josh Hawkwer), Darren Carter, Jake Jervis, Jeremy Balmy (Marcel Henry-Francis), Wilson Carvalho (Ibrahim Farah)

Attendance 501

Pre Season 2012 sponsored by August Windows & Doors

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14 Responses to “A Tale of Eight Trialists – AFC Telford v Blues Development Squad”

  • Ad says:

    It was a team made up of trialists , it was never going to be a fantastic match.

    Considering carter and naylor are playing for contracts I didn’t see any reasons why they should be offered one, I was expecting a bit more from these two but they looked at their level. I would prefer a couple of the academy lads to be given a chance, Hancox and packwood looked very comfortable on the ball.

    David Lucas leadership at the back was fantastic, organised his back line really well, he didn’t shut up all game, no wonder we didnt let one in.

    I also thought balmy looked sharp and caused some problems, when he went off nothing was being created in the middle.

    As for relegation thongs that is a silly comment!!

    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      Thongs have you just come out of hibernation? Have you not noticed that our “inexperienced” manager has been pretty impressive so far? I think others share my optimism for the coming season.

  • Gareth says:


    If you’re serious, then just…. LOL.

  • zenzero says:

    Thongs is obviously a viler!

  • skareggae72 says:

    With five strikers now in our first team it looks likely that Jervis will again be sent on loan,unless Clarke gives him a final chance to shine against Barnet next week,he needs a big game.
    His scoring record on loan is decent,although breaking through into the regular squad looks more distant than ever imo.

  • mitchell says:

    Poor attempt at a wind up thongs. Only forgiven if you have to type with one of those sticks attached to your forehead.

  • idl says:

    Just read Peter Ramage has signed with Crystal Palace. Shame, thought he did OK last season and would have offered the extra cover at the back that we probably still need…

  • TonyB says:

    If you consider we have Mullins, Ambrose, Fahey, Morrison, Gomis, Spector, Elliot for central midfield plus promising youngsters like Gnahore, Packwood, Ntambwe, etc. who can do a job why would we need Carter? I’d like to think we’ve helped him get fit and put his name around a bit and he can get a slot with a decent League 1 side or even a lower Championship club as a result. Still feel sorry for him mind.

    Simialr with Lee Naylor. Murph will be #1, looks like Ben Gordon coming as understudy and Hancox will feel hard done by to be #3 only. I guess we could forego Gordon (who will expect first team action) and take on Naylor but don’t think it will happen.

    I still feel we need a genuine left footer in midfield. Anyone know if Morrison can play wide left? We shouldn’t be asking Nathan to play 50 games this season, still needs nurturing.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    LW will be rotated between Redmond, Elliott, Ambrose and maybe Fahey. Funny how we’re stocking up on central midfielders and strikers but haven’t got 1 genuine left winger and only 1 proven left back (though Hancox has looked impressive in friendlies) . The side does look pretty lopsided to me.

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