The triallists bidding for a Pompey future

Connor Randall, left, in action. Picture: Joe Pepler
Connor Randall, left, in action. Picture: Joe Pepler
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A boxer, a former Everton midfielder and an England under-17 international – three of the triallists Pompey are casting their eye over.

Paul Cook named six new faces in a 25-man squad for his maiden Blues match in charge on Saturday.

Their CVs varied considerably, yet all were granted game time in the subsequent 1-1 draw at the Hawks.

Ben Tollitt, an ex-Toffees trainee, has already shone to the point of receiving a one-year contract offer.

The attacking midfielder spent the majority of last season with Evo-Stik League Northern Premier outfit Skelmersdale United and impressed many present at Westleigh Park during a four-minute cameo.

It remains to be seen whether all triallists will be present for this weekend’s double fixture against Bognor and then Gosport.

Nonetheless, the six have been allowed the opportunity to impress Cook.

A name that had emerged before the annual visit to the Hawks was the versatile Ben Davies, formerly of Sheffield United.

He occupied the right-back slot during the second half as Cook switched to a 4-2-3-1 system.

The 34-year-old is a free agent, having featured 19 times and scored four goals in a Blades campaign which saw them lose in the League One play-off semi-finals.

Pompey’s right-back for the first half was Connor Randall, a Liverpool trainee.

Aged 19, he represented England under-17s at the 2011 Nordic Football Championship, making four appearances and scoring once.

Last season he featured for Liverpool’s under-21 squad, while made his Football League debut in February after appearing as a substitute during a loan spell at Shrewsbury.

That 89th-minute appearance would be his sole outing for the Shrews, who won promotion from League Two.

Also featuring in the first half at Westleigh Park was Gareth Evans, operating on the right-hand side of midfield in a 4-4-2.

The 27-year-old is available after leaving League One side Fleetwood, where he played 46 times and scored four goals last season.

Evans was also a regular presence in their team which won promotion from League Two in 2013-14, scoring six league goals.

Theo Robinson, who started the second half, is being seriously considered to bolster the striking options.

He has appeared in all four divisions of the Football League and was formerly at Doncaster.

In the 86th minute against the Hawks, Cook brought on his final two substitutes – Callum Hassan and Tollitt.

Hassan is a 22-year-old who made one substitute appearance for Hartlepool in January 2012.

The powerful striker had started his career as a trainee at Middlesbrough, but in recent years quit football and turned to boxing, property and also opened a chicken restaurant.