Trialists to return

Denial: New Aberdeen boss Craig Brown has denied making a move for Preston skipper Callum Davidson
Denial: New Aberdeen boss Craig Brown has denied making a move for Preston skipper Callum Davidson
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Preston have put their trialists in cold storage until the New Year.

French striker Sebastien Grax and Czech goalkeeper Martin Lejsal spent a fortnight training with the squad recently.

But North End want another look at the pair in action before deciding if to offer them contracts.

The freezing weather has prevented a reserve game being arranged this week for Darren Ferguson to run the rule over the hopefuls.

So they’ve been invited back in January for another trial spell.

The arrival of two trialists from South America has also been put back until the country has thawed out.

PNE chairman Maurice Lindsay told the Evening Post: “It’s pointless having players here on trial at the moment with the way the weather is.

“For a start, it’s difficult getting on the training ground, and you really need a reserve game organised to have a proper look at them.

“There’s an Argentinian lad and a player from Paraguay waiting to come over.

“We’ve told them to hang fire for now and travel when the weather improves.

“It wouldn’t have been easy getting them here anyway because of the problems the airports have had dealing with the snow.

“We’re in touch with our contacts in South America about the situation.

“As for the trialists who have been with us recently, they’ve shown promise, particularly the French striker.

“But he hasn’t played for a while and needs more practice.

“He’s gone home for Christmas and will come back for another trial game in the New Year.”

North End again used Manchester United’s Carrington training ground yesterday in order to beat the cold snap.

It’s looking unlikely that they’ll be in action on Boxing Day though, hosts Scunthorpe having arranged a pitch inspection for tomorrow morning.

Large areas of the Glanford Park pitch are frozen, the temperature having dropped to minus 10 and penetrated the frost covers.

But Preston are hopeful that next Tuesday’s home clash with Middlesbrough will go ahead.

Lindsay said: “The pitch is covered, there’s a layer of snow on top of the covers which actually keeps the grass a bit warmer.

“We’ve got a JCB and tractor working to clear the car parks.

“Obviously, we don’t want Arctic weather on the day, but we’re pretty confident.

“We’ve also got a lighting rig which has been given to us on a three-month loan from the manufacturers.

“That’s mainly been used to stimulate grass growth in the penalty areas which get well worn, but at the moment we can also use it to thaw out areas of frost.”

Meanwhile, former PNE boss Craig Brown has denied reports linking his new club Aberdeen with a January move for Callum Davidson.

The North End skipper is currently being kept out of the side by Ritchie de Laet, and is out of contract in the summer.