20th Oct, 2019

Town duo await news on League Two trial

Stratford Editorial 20th May, 2019

STRATFORD Town duo Albi Skendi and Chris Cox will be dreaming of earning a professional contract after getting a trial at a League Two club.

Midfielder Skendi and full-back Cox both linked up with the club last Monday for a week-long stay.

The pair have both been key figures in helping Thomas Baillie’s squad celebrate their best ever season, finishing their highest ever league position of fifth in Southern Premier Central, winning the Southern League Challenge Cup and reaching the FA Trophy first round for the first time.

The club says other scouts have been watching players with interest.

Last season, Town top scorer Ben Stephens made the step up to the professional game with Macclesfield Town.

“Albi and Chris are not the only two of our players as we are aware that other league clubs are at present looking at some of our other talented players who achieved such record-breaking success last season,” said the club.

“The club wish both Chris and Albi all the best in their trial in hopefully taking their first steps into full-time football as they try to emulate last season’s top Stratford goalscorer Ben Stephens who went on to sign professional forms at League Two Macclesfield Town and established himself as a regular starter in Sol Campbell’s side.”

Stratford will have to plan for next season without defender Jamie McAteer, who has moved to Southern Premier Central rivals Barwell.

McAteer has previous experience with the Canaries, having played as a youngster before leaving in 2012 and having spells at Bedworth United and Coalville Town.

He made 40 appearances for Stratford in league and cups last season.

Barwell boss Guy Hadland said: “Jamie is a quality player and will be a key player for us next season. He has great experience and knows what it takes to get towards the top of the league after his good season with Stratford.

“This signing shows we are serious about challenging as high up the league as possible in the next campaign.”

Stratford are also tracking potential targets but are keeping identities under wraps because signings cannot be registered until the relevant forms are released later in the summer.

Meanwhile, Town’s Academy will line up against the likes of AC Milan, Porto and Arsenal at the prestigious Pro Academy tournament at University of Hertfordshire Sports Village later this summer.

Town are one of 12 teams to be invited for the competition between August 2-4. The club’s next academy trials for 16 to 18-year-olds take place on Friday, May 31.

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