Details on some of the Doncaster Rovers trialists that played at Bradford City

Doncaster Rovers fielded 11 trialists in their friendly with Bradford City as Richie Wellens patched up a squad which had been decimated by a single case of Covid-19.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 9:59 am

Six new faces arrived alongside five that have been training with Rovers over the past couple of weeks.

Here, we bring some details of those involved in the matchday squad.

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Trialist Louis Reed fires on goal for Rovers against Bradford. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

Owen Bailey, Aidan Barlow, Aramide Oteh, Tunji Akinola and Charlie Colkett all took part in their second friendly for Rovers.

Former Newcastle youngster Bailey, Chelsea academy graduate Colkett and ex-Queens Park Rangers striker Oteh all played 65 minutes with Barlow and Akinola withdrawn at half time.

Bailey played right back, Colkett on the right of a midfield three and Oteh as the central striker in a three-man front line.

Former Manchester United youngster Barlow operated on the left of the front three with Akinola playing at centre half alongside Tom Anderson.

WHAT ABOUT DAN GARDNER?

The former Chesterfield and Wigan Athletic wide man - who has been training with Rovers for the last fortnight - was at Valley Parade with the Rovers squad and took part in fitness work on the pitch prior to the game.

But with little prospect of being offered a contract by Rovers at this time, he opted not to play in the game.

Boss Wellens said: “He was here doing some fitness work.

“It’s quite a predicament to be in when you’re on trial and you want a contract.

“If the contract isn’t there at the moment, do you play and risk getting injured?

“I get it but at the moment our budget does not stretch to bringing that calibre of player in.”

A NEW NAME IMPRESSES

Though largely disappointed with the majority of the trialists on show at Valley Parade, Wellens was very pleased with the performance of Darnell Johnson.

The 22-year-old departed Leicester City earlier this summer and featured at centre half in the second half against Bradford.

Johnson did not make a senior appearance for Leicester but enjoyed loan spells with Wigan Athletic and AFC Wimbledon in League One last term.

Wellens said: “I’ll give Darnell a lot of credit. He only came in yesterday and he’s played 45 minutes and I thought he was outstanding.”

A MIDFIELDER WITH EXPERIENCE

Former Sheffield United academy graduate Louis Reed played the full 90 minutes for Rovers, occupying the deep-lying midfield role in the first half before moving to the left of the middle three after the break.

Barnsley-born Reed departed Peterborough United at the end of last season having made 19 appearances last term for the promoted side. He turned out 84 times over three years for Posh after switching from Bramall Lane.

It is understood that Reed is unlikely to be offered a deal by Rovers due to the options Wellens already has at his disposal.

OTHERS THAT WILL NOT BE NAMED

The majority of the new faces who joined up with Rovers late in the week arrived on the understanding that it was unlikely they would be offered terms by the club.

Their presence was part of a mutually beneficial agreement which helped Rovers put out two teams against Bradford while also giving the players themselves game time to boost their chances of finding new employers this summer.

As a result, it has been requested that these players not be named at this time.

One was a striker who came through the academy of a top Premier League club and featured for their U21 side in the EFL Trophy before joining another top flight outfit, whom he left earlier this year.

Another was a towering centre back from France who spent two years in the U23 set up of a Premier League club.

A forward who was a regular goalscorer for a Championship side’s U23 group until his release in May also featured for Rovers in the second half at Valley Parade.

The final trialist played at right back for Rovers after coming on at 65 minutes.

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