Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? The Trialist Edition

With it being international week I thought I’d do another edition of “Where Are They Now?” However, instead of looking at past players I thought I’d take a look at some of the trialists who have passed through the St Andrews doors this summer to see where they’ve ended up.

The obvious place to start is probably with Darren Carter, who trialled with Blues for a lengthy spell to get fit and to try and earn a contract. Alas for Blues fan Carter, it wasn’t to be a fairytale return to Birmingham City, and unfortunately it got worse for Darren as he injured his groin whilst trialling for Nottingham Forest – an injury that will keep him out for up to a couple of months. Carter trialled at the same time as another Blues old boy in Craig Fagan; both playing in a reserve team friendly against Tottenham Hotspur. Like Darren, Fagan didn’t get a deal but Craig has got himself fixed up with League Two side Bradford City, where he has currently made ten appearances and scored two goals.

Another player to feature in that friendly was Congolese forward Lomana LuaLua. LuaLua has done alright for himself since finishing his trial at Blues, and has signed a deal to keep him with the Seasiders until the end of the season. So far LuaLua has made four appearances, and has scored twice – both on his first full start for Blackpool in the 5-0 thrashing of Leeds United. The other striker to feature in that trial was Gambian ex-Notts County forward Njogu Demba-Nyren. Demba has since left the UK and is now plying his trade for Danish 2nd tier side Esbjerg fB. The fifth trialist I can name from that game was Brazilian Midfielder Radames da Silva, who was searching for a club after his release by Volta Redonda back in Brazil. Unfortunately for Radames, he was rejected by not only Blues, but by Stoke City and Swansea City as well and is currently without a club as far as I know. The sixth and final trialist in that game was former Spurs player Anthony Gardner, who despite James Nursey’s exclusive regarding him signing for Blues went to Crystal Palace on a one year deal.

However, Blues haven’t just trialled players with the first team. At the Worcester City game I saw a few new faces trial for the academy/reserve team and I thought it would be interesting to look at them too. The talk of that day was Robert Stambolziev, who Blues had denied signing earlier that day but clearly was wearing the number seven shirt for the team in Worcester. Alas, it didn’t work out for him at Blues – and after failing to secure a deal at Stoke City he returned to Greece (where he had been previously) to sign for FC Proodeftiki of the Greek fourth division. Among the other players was Sam Beasant (son of Dave), who was in goal for Blues that day. Despite looking quite decent, he obviously didn’t do enough and he has ended up at Conference South outfit Maidenhead United. Two of the other young trialists (central midfielder Akil Grier and striker Bobby Devyne) are yet to fix themselves up with a team. The last trialist was centre back Jack Deaman, who of all the trialists I’ve mentioned was the only one to end up with a contract at Blues.

So there you go – of eleven trialists, only one got a deal with Blues – and that’s only with the academy. Trialling players is a bit hit and miss, and you’ve got to feel a little for the players slogging their guts out in the almost vain hope they’ll do enough to get a contract. Of the current players on trial at Blues the only one I know the identity of is James Ha – and I doubt very much he’ll be getting a deal.

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12 Responses to “Where Are They Now? The Trialist Edition”

  • PannuMannu says:

    Anthony Gardner didn’t play on trial for Blues. Jack Deaman was not a trialist he was a signing. Just so you know and get the facts right.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Always interesting to hear which road people go down after leaving blues,especially if its a bit different to the usual.
    I hear our ex-academy midfielder Mitch McPike appeared on the x-factor.I dont watch it so i dont know what his singing is like.
    Cant find much info on Alpa Ozturk other than that he is with Belgian under 21 squad,does he have a club?

  • Nick says:

    jack deaman was on trial but was always gonna be a signing as hes a good prospect who had teams like celtic after him, cant say much for the others, not one would bring anything extra to the current first team. also im sure sam beasant went onto the glenn hoddle academy in spain? good blog btw!

  • oldburyblue says:

    Very interesting, as usual, almajir. How come you know more about what’s going on regarding the Club than the so-called professional reporters in the “Official” media?

    • almajir says:

      I wouldn’t say that I do know more than the pro reporters – not at all. The advantage I have over them is that I have more space to write in, no editorial line and no deadlines so I can write what I want, how I want, when I want – reporters can’t.

      • DoctorD says:

        Actually the low level of Blues coverage in the mainstream media is down to three things:

        1. The Blues aren’t a big Prem club so the London media aren’t combing over every angle as they do with the likes of Spurs, Chelsea, Manure etc

        2. The local West Midlands media are basically pretty crap.

        3. The mainstream media know most readers aren’t interested in the “minutiae” of the kind we get on this blog.

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Doubt if such a low success rate is limited to Blues: suspect all clubs would have a similar list of dashed hopes. Just underlines how hard it is to be a pro: something those who get over critical of players should remember when they think that someone seems out of place and would not get a game at a lower level.

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    Sam Beasant is actually at Maidenhead United not Maidstone United and should feature in today’s First round FA cup tie against Aldershot. His Dad and Glenn Hoddle have been in the crowd sometimes to watch him.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    One player to keep an eye on is Khalid Mohammed at Cheltenham Town. He was at Bath City for 2 seasons, was BY FAR the best player they had, and is a very pacy left winger. It would be great to see CH bring him to Blues as well as getting Butland back to deputise for Myhill.


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