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

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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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