RONNIE Moore is hoping to discover a “diamond” in the rough as he continues to take a closer look at trialists.
American striker Justin Laird is the latest to spend time at Maiden Castle, in Durham, training with Moore’s Hartlepool United squad ahead of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two match at Morecambe (KO 3pm).
The 21-year-old former Kentucky Wildcats frontman played the full 90 minutes for the reserves in their midweek 1-0 win over Gateshead, with Laird scoring the winner.
But Moore admits he wants to see more of the American because based on that one game it would be a “no” regarding a deal for him.
Pools have had a number of trialists at the club this season, a couple of which – Scott Fenwick and Ebby Nelson-Addy – have won contracts.
But with Fenwick out injured for at least the next fortnight, Moore is still keen to add to his striking options.
It was nice to see him score and we need a scorer, but it was a tap in.Ronnie Moore, Pools boss
“We’ve had a trialist in this week but I need to see more of him,” said Moore. “On one game, then no.
“It was nice to see him score and we need a scorer, but it was a tap in – I could have scored it!
“It’s about general play too, which needs improving.
“We’ll take it from there.”
Laird spent time playing in the States before heading to Europe at the turn of the year in a bid to win a professional contract.
He has trained with Swiss clubs FC Lausanne Sport and Servette FC before heading to Pools on the recommendation of an agent.
Moore added: “I have an agent in Scotland who rings me all the time with certain players.
“I always say I’ll look at anybody as long as it doesn’t cost us.
“The agent is looking after all that and fingers crossed, sooner or later we’ll pick up a diamond.
“As long as they keep ringing me - and more importantly they are paying - then I’ll have a look at anyone.
“But you have to be dead lucky to pick one up like that.
“We have looked under every stone in England and haven’t found one yet so it would be great if one fell into our lap.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland youngster Jassem Sukar, from Hartlepool, came off the bench in the reserves’ 1-0 win over Gateshead.
Sukar, a defender, is out of contract at the Premier League club in the summer and is spending time on trial at Pools.