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AFC Telford take Market Drayton duo on trial

AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has handed Market Drayton Town duo Jud Ellis and Joe Cuff a chance to impress over pre-season.

Joe Cuff
Joe Cuff

Midfielders Ellis and Cuff were key players as Drayton survived in the Evo-Stik Northern League First Division South – two tiers below the Bucks – last term.

Cowan feels the club has a ‘duty’ to look at players who have impressed for other clubs in the county.

“There’s a couple of local lads – Market Drayton, and other clubs as well,” he said. “It’d be foolish and naive of me not to look locally and tap into local talent.

“They can only play what they’re up against so if they’re doing it, ripping it up, I think that as a football club we have a duty to take a look – offer them a platform.

“There’s an opportunity for them for the next week or two. If they take it, great. If they don’t, it’s been a great experience for them.

“Too many times there has been things where we hear players have gone to other clubs in our league and then we find out they’re from Telford.

“I think it is our duty and our job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

While Cowan is making more of a conscious effort to give players from the area an opportunity, he has warned Ellis and Cuff they will not have an easy ride.

“They’re going to have to do very well in each session because I’ll take it session by session,” he said.

“There’s been 26 players coming here and you can’t have 26 coming to every pre-season session.

“So if they’re not meeting the standards every session, then we’ll have a discussion.

“That’s where we’re at. We don’t have an under-23s to rely on so I want to give them an opportunity.

“If me and my staff can cater to that, brilliant.”

Drayton chief Martyn Davies added: “It’s good for the club if our players progress.

“Obviously we don’t want to lose our best lads but if they are ambitious while they’re here, that’s got to have a good influence on our team performances.

“We will not stand in the way of any player who wants to progress. Both have told me that they want to give Telford a try and I say good luck to them.”

Ellis and Cuff could line up against Drayton as Telford travel to Greenfields for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, July 10 (7.45pm).

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