Premiership pair get try-out with Cherries

First published in Sport

SEAN O'Driscoll will run the rule over two more trialists at Dean Court this week and both have a Premiership pedigree.

Italian striker Michele Di Piedi, once of Sheffield Wednesday, and former Aston Villa defender Jonathan Bewers joined the rest of the squad for pre-season training at Canford School July 20.

Di Piedi, a 23-year-old Palermo-born frontman, played for Wednesday while they were in the Premiership four years ago.

At around 6ft 2in, he would add some height to O'Driscoll's striking options after falling out of favour at Hillsborough under the managerial upheaval of recent seasons.

Bewers, meanwhile, has already undergone a trial period at Cherries towards the end of last season and O'Driscoll is keen to take another look.

He told the Daily Echo: "Jonathan has been here before and can play anywhere along the back four and even in midfield. He has got a good pedigree from Aston Villa.

"Michele has played for Sheffield Wednesday in the Premiership and is another foreign player who is looking to get a foothold in England.

"I think he left Sheffield Wednesday after they were relegated and went back to Italy. But he is a big centre-forward and if you don't look, you don't know.

"His agent has brought him over for a few clubs to take a look so we will have to see.

"But they will have a good week of training and a few games next week so that will constitute as good a trial as they can possibly get."

The Cherries boss also revealed there was no time limit on either player's trial period.

He said: "They will both be here until we have made a decision - there has not been a time period specified. But we won't drag it out needlessly and have told them, as we do with all payers, that if they have other options, to keep them open.

"I'd hate to tell a player at the end of a trial period that he will not be getting a contract if it turns out that he has turned down other offers."

O'Driscoll is expected to give fellow trialist Gary Middleton a chance in central defence in the club's next pre-season friendly at Cheltenham on Saturday.

He said: "I will speak to Gary Middleton this week. He probably hasn't played in his best position yet in central defence so we need to address that."

Thursday's game with Lymington and New Milton was postponed after the Fawcett's Field pitch had not seeded properly over the close season but the manager is not overly worried at a lack of match action this week.

He said: "We have a free week after Lymington and New Milton called the game off because of their pitch.

"But it means we can do some intensive work on the training pitch. We will start doing less of the running and more of the ball work now."

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