By George, he’s out to impress!
Reporter: by MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 01 August 2014
GEORGE Elokobi will add muscle to Athletic’s back line in tomorrow’s friendly with Huddersfield Town at SportsDirect.com Park.
The left-sided defender (28) has been training with the club this week and in the absence of injured Adam Lockwood, will play some part in the game as he bids to impress.
The Cameroon-born player, famous for his huge frame, had been on trial at Athletic’s Sky Bet League One rivals Leyton Orient following his release in the summer by promoted Wolves.
With plenty of Premier League know-how under his belt, Elokobi — who spent six years at Molineux, making more than 100 appearances — provides a weight of experience Athletic lost when withdrawing the contract offer made to Miguel Llera, who has since signed a one-year deal with Scunthorpe.
However, it remains to be seen whether Athletic will be able to meet Elokobi’s wage demands.
Meanwhile, the club have fallen foul of an injury which scuppered a loan deal for a highly-promising midfield player.
An agreement had been reached for a talented teenage winger, hailed as a potential star of the future, only for injury to strike while turning out for his club.
It means Athletic manager Lee Johnson is back on a fresh hunt for talent to add to his squad, which was today boosted as expected by the confirmed signing on a one-year deal of free agent Jonathan Forte — a player who set aside alternative options on the table to commit himself to a future at SportsDirect.com Park.
Tomorrow’s friendly against Huddersfield — preview on Page 34 — wraps up the pre-season campaign before the real action begins with the kick-off of Sky Bet League One at Colchester on Saturday, August 9. Johnson says he is happy with the variety of opposition his side have come up against and said that even an apparently below-par performance in part against Melbourne City in the last home game pleased him.
“Melbourne was good for us for different reasons,” he explained. “Tactically, I just left the players to it, in order that they could discover what was needed on their own.
“It may have come across as poor in the first half as they had most of the ball.
“But in the second half we worked it out and though they scored, we steamrollered them at times.”
Johnson also confirmed that Liam Kelly (24), who has skippered the team throughout pre-season, will be Athletic’s on-field captain for 2014-15.
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