Millwall's Skinner: Trialists must show first-team potential

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL'S Elite Development squad boss Justin Skinner says he gets “bombarded” with calls from interested parties offering trialists to the club.

Skinner oversaw a third U21 win in a row against Leeds on Monday in a game that featured former Coventry winger Kyle Spence.

Striker Fejiri Okenabirhie, who came on in the second half after scoring in the previous game against Ipswich, was another hoping to secure a deal with the Lions.

Millwall offered a number of other players opportunities to impress during pre-season, and centre-back Christian Mbulu was handed a one-year professional deal in August.

But in the case of other hopefuls, including former Watford left-back Harry Kyprianou, Skinner is the person charged with delivering the bad news.

He explained: “We get lots of phone calls from agents and different people.

“There is a process you have to go through but you are bombarded with players who have been released from clubs who are trying to get back in the game.

“It’s difficult and it is a constant merry-go-round of trialists, but it’s also a good way of judging a player for yourself.

“You’re just waiting to see something really, some might stand out immediately and you’ve got to make a move on them.

“We’re not in a position where we can take lots of numbers, we have to be quite bright about it.

“We have to be sure if they’ve got a future here, which ultimately means getting in the first team. So it’s a big call.

“Other clubs like Charlton and QPR, for instance, run with big numbers of U18s and U21s and they can have a few that probably aren’t going to make it but can make the numbers up.

“We’re a bit different in that respect, we have to be more choosey and make sure we get it right.

“In pre-season we had a number of trialists who came in and it was down to me to have a one-to-one with them and release a few of them.

“The good ones, like Christian, to tell him he’s got a contract is the easy part of it. There are other boys who, when you tell them you’re not keeping them on, you’re killing their dream.”

John Kelly


13 thoughts on “Millwall's Skinner: Trialists must show first-team potential

  • September 10, 2015 at 11:29

    Maybe he should have a word with Marquis.

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  • September 10, 2015 at 11:58

    First team must show first team potential first ffs! Hahahaha

    Like (26)
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    • September 10, 2015 at 17:52

      @steveomfc5: what a silly comment ,MAY be you could you explain how JOHN WAS SCORING FOR GILLINGHAM LAST season simple answer he was getting a service from his midfield he gets no service neither do the rest of our strickers , how many chances has Lee Gregory had this season and missed he dosn't get slagged off , yet John does for put effort he puts in chasing balls with in 5 yards of him and the only one to get physical with big centre backs

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  • September 10, 2015 at 12:53

    give marquis a break for god sake, the boy ant had any game time this year and is as keen as any player to be a success at mill wall i get the impression harris is protecting him in as much not playing in league games cause he no's the boy boys will be out in force love to see maquis get off and running can't be no worse than gregs

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    • September 10, 2015 at 15:34

      Problem on here is people can get very critical of individuals and can get really personal.
      If someone's not trying - that's fair enough.
      But if they're trying, then it's up to the coaches to get the best out of them. They'll tell them if they aren't going to cut it. The crowd also gets its message across.
      Some of our players would need iron constitutions to read comments on here.

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    • September 10, 2015 at 18:02

      @spanner41: I agree 100% lets give him a brake we need to boost his confidence. I would like him to given the opportunity to see him score a few goals and become our leading scorer may be that would shut a few people up or hopefully getting behind him

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  • September 10, 2015 at 13:22

    100% right
    hes shown he can score goals in the div harris needs to get his tactics right 2 wingers men up front defend from the front and beavers CB

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  • September 10, 2015 at 16:16

    I totally agree whats the good of getting lots of people in when they are no different than what you have got ... a certain coco did this and we slung most of them out in the summer

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  • September 10, 2015 at 18:20

    Sadly for John he'll probably have to move to another club to achieve his full potential. Carrrying too much baggage at The Den.

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  • September 10, 2015 at 21:09

    Bluesman@ ... BEng on the money there.. Good post

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  • September 11, 2015 at 07:41

    Boys, talking to a staunch gills fan about marquis, he played a no10 role rather than a main striker , he is nota big burly bloke all we do is pump high balls up to him, we cant question his work rate, end of the day the style we play does not suit him or gregory, high balls to 2 front men of less than 6ft is useless. Marquis tries and probably feels that he is letting us down but in truth he found the gills style of play suited him, Dack anyone?

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