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Triallists Hoping to Earn Gateshead Deal

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Pre-season training began at Conference Premier club Gateshead with a double session as the squad was put…..

…..through its paces under the watchful eye of management duo Anth Smith and David Rush.

The morning session involved ball work at on the training pitch at the International Stadium and then a physical session took place at Silksworth in the afternoon.

This involved some hill running and Smith was pleased with the condition his players – which included the five summer signings so far – reported back to duty.

“We had the fitness tests on Thursday. The fitness levels were good and the days have gone where players let themselves go during the summer,” said Smith. “It’s a bubbly camp. Everyone gets on well and they are all good pro’s which is important.

“Everyone is fit and we’ll have a tough week and then look forward to the game against Partick Thistle on Saturday.

“We had a light morning just to get the lads moving again, twisting and turning and stuff like that, and then the hard work kicked in at Silksworth.”

French Congolese triallist David Louhoungou, 24, and former loan player Lee Bullock were two players looking to seal a deal at Gateshead.

Louhoungou has played in Scotland for Hamilton Academical and also in Turkey, while fellow midfielder Bullock, 32, has played almost 400 games in the Football League.

“Louhoungou has played for Stade Rennes FC in France and for Congo in the African nations. He’s here for a week so we’ll have a look at him and see how he goes,” added Smith. “He’s come over from France and has a decent background. He’ll get a run out against Partick Thistle at Durham City on Saturday and we’ll take it from there.

“Bullock is more than welcome to come in and train. We’ll have a look at the situation as it develops as it’s important I bring in the right midfield player.

“I’m not going to jump in or commit to anybody at the moment. People will come in and if one proves to be better than the other there’s a place up for grabs.

“It is important we get a good solid player who will suit us. We have made good signings so far and I want that to continue.”

Gateshead have re-signed teenage goalkeeper Jordan Nixon, who will again be understudy to Adam Bartlett, who didn’t miss a game last season.

Fellow former YTS players Luke Carr, Lewis Galpin, Callum Patton, and Rob Ramshaw have all signed forms for next season.

While Nixon will be number two goalkeeper again the other players are likely to go out on loan to play in the local Ebac Northern League to gain experience.

“All four will train at Gateshead as pro’s during the week but it is important they get some game time elsewhere to continue their development,” added Smith.

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