Noticeable on the training pitch over the first two days of pre-season has been the voice of experienced midfielder Jamie Devitt, who is back with the Blues and looking sharp and raring to go.
Devitt, 31, played seven games for United through his second spell with the club, but had his season curtailed by a frustrating hamstring injury picked up during the home game against Northampton in the middle of March.
Invited by manager Paul Simpson to train with the squad through June and July, the gaffer explained the reasons behind the arrangement.
“Jamie is in to work with us,” he confirmed. “I think we all know what he can do on the pitch and I know what he brings in terms of his character in the dressing room as well.
“He’s just got to show me he’s fit enough to deserve a contract, that’s all it is.
“He’s been really unfortunate over the last couple of years with injuries, but he’s come back in good shape.
“He had an illness for about three weeks over the summer which meant he had to start his training programme a bit later than he would have liked.
“He’s done well today, and there will come a point during pre-season where I’ll have the conversation with him to talk about what we’re going to do.
“We haven’t put a timescale on it, he’s just come to train with us.
“If he gets an offer from elsewhere and I’m not in a position to do anything then I totally respect that, but he’s going to train and play in the games and we’ll see what happens.”
And he confirmed that the Thursday session included four trialists - with a set policy on how those players will be introduced to the fold.
“I won’t be giving the names of trialists out and they’ll go down as A Trialist when it comes to games,” he told us.
“If I’m going to be honest I don’t know why I do it like that, but I just do, it’s just my way.
“We’ve got four trialists in, we did have five but one of them was offered a deal elsewhere which he’s going to take, which is fine.
“We’re not prepared to commit to any of them at this stage. We’ll have a look at the four of them in training then maybe involve them in the games if we think they’re up to the level.
“It’s up to them to show us that they deserve to be part of the group to take us into the season.”
“I just don’t think we need to be talking about who they are,” he continued. “It’s not that I’m trying to be clever, but they’re just here to train with us.
“We had a lad in with us for training at the end of last season but nobody knew about it because nobody needs to know about it.
“If they’re good enough and we think they’re going to help the football club then everybody will know about it.
“It’s not about me being secretive, if there’s something that needs to be said I will say it and be honest about it.
“In terms of trialists it’s a case of just getting them in and assessing them.”
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