Paul Fairclough has given trials to three players who are hoping to impress in pre-season and be given a permanent contract.
The players returned to meet their new team-mates yesterday morning as they met up for training as they prepare for the new season.
Osagyefo Lenin Ernesto Burton-Godwin, more commonly called Sagi Burton is a central defender released by Shrewsbury last season despite making almost 50 appearances for the fellow League two side. The experienced 29 year old was born in England but of Jamaican descent and has made three caps for the national team, Saint Kitts and Nevis, though interestingly, Burton rejected the opportunity to play in the Caribbean Cup, preferring to stay with his club to play against Hartlepool United and Darlington, suggesting international callups would not be an issue for Fairclough to deal with should he sign Burton on a full-term deal. His first senior club was Crystal Palace where he made his debut in the Premiership, starting the game and helping in a clean sheet away to Derby County. Burton appears just what the club needs – experience within a youthful squad and a strong centre-back figure to help out his against inexperienced defensive backline. Burton has also played for Peterborough United, Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Colchester United and was a youth player at Bolton Wanderers. He has made almost 300 caps in his career so far.
27 year old midfielder Ernie Cooksey is another free agent after being released by Boston United at the end of last season following a short spell for them. Following the club’s relegation, he has been unable to find a new club and now hopes for a chance to prove himself at Barnet. He has made almost 100 apperances for Rochdale before arriving at the Staffsmart Stadium and nearly a full season’s worth at Oldham Athletic.
Central midfielder Mark Hughes left bitter rivals Stevenage Borough after failing to impress in the club’s disappointing league campaign. But Fairclough believes the 23 year old has what it takes to cut it at League Two level and has also taken him on trial, along with Cooksey and Burton. The tough-tackling North Irish footballer also had spells with Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield.