Whaley in for Latics trials

Date published: 11 February 2010

ATHLETIC manager Dave Penney will make a decision imminently on the future of Simon Whaley.

The 24-year-old winger, who had his contract at Norwich City cancelled at the start of the month, is on trial at the club and played in yesterday’s 2-0 Manchester Senior Cup win against Bury.

Penney ran the rule over Whaley in a game at Radcliffe Borough also featuring first-team men Darryl Flahavan, Hasney Aljofree, Alex Marrow, Joe Colbeck and Chris Taylor and will hold talks with chief executive Alan Hardy today over the player’s future.

Free agent Whaley, who played over 100 games for Preston after joining the club for £300,000 from Bury, only signed for Norwich at the start of this season and has since had brief loan spells at League Two sides Rochdale and Bradford City.

It remains to be seen whether Whaley impressed sufficiently to be offered a deal at Athletic, particularly given the competition in wide positions from the likes of Deane Smalley, Colbeck and Taylor.

The goals in yesterday’s game came from Aljofree, who struck home a 20-yard free-kick before retiring from the action with a hamstring problem, and an unnamed trialist.

Lewis Alessandra began his playing comeback following an ankle operation by coming off the bench for Lee Duxbury’s side.

The return to fitness of the 20-year-old striker, who scored a hat-trick for Athletic’s first team against Scunthorpe at Boundary Park last season, would present Penney with a boost as he bids to rectify his team’s lack of goals.

ATHLETIC’S away game at Southampton has been rearranged.

The south coast club reached the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this week and are consequently in action against Carlisle at Wembley on Sunday, March 28, necessitating a switch of the original fixture with Athletic which was to take place a day before.

The game will now be played at the St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday, April 20 (7.45pm kick-off).

The switch means Athletic will play seven times in April, with the same number of midweek games left between now and the end of the season.