PROFESSIONAL clubs are keeping tabs on some of the young guns in Worthing Football Club’s squad.
Striker Ben Pope is on a week-long trial with Premier League Stoke City and will play a game for the Potters academy side on Saturday. Pope, who has seven goals for Worthing this season, was also on trial with League Two side Cambridge United last week.
Left-back Harvey Sparks and midfielder Curtis Gayler were due to play for a Swindon Town side on Tuesday but the game was postponed, although they are set to go to the Robins another time.
Rebels boss Adam Hinshelwood feels the club are gaining a reputation inside and outside of Sussex for the way they bring young players on.
He said: “By all accounts, Ben did really well at Cambridge and has got invited back up there and he went up to Stoke on Sunday for a week, which is a great opportunity.
“Curtis and Harvey were due to play for Swindon on Tuesday but the game was postponed and they’ll now go another time. Hopefully, we’re getting a reputation outside of Sussex, as well as inside, that we give youngsters an opportunity. There are some talented boys down here and that can only be a good thing as it’s the kind of reputation that you want as a football club.”
The trio will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Rebels, Mickey Demetriou and Ben Williamson, who now play at league clubs Shrewsbury and Port Vale, respectively.
Burgess Hill striker Greg Luer also made the move from Ryman League football to the academy side of Hull at the end of last year – and has since played on loan at Port Vale.
Hinshelwood is surprised that two more members of his squad, Omar Bugiel and Will Hendon, have not had trials at a league club yet and said: “I’m very surprised that Omar hasn’t had any offers yet but he’s got to keep working hard to get that opportunity.
“Will is another one who has nothing at the moment. It won’t be too long, though, before someone comes and has a look at him as we’re carving out a name for ourselves here.
“I want to try to secure as many of these youngsters on contract for next year. As much as we want them to move on and progress, we want to do what’s best for the club as well, so it would be nice to have the nucleus of the squad secured for next season.”