Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Further Evidence That There's Talent Worth Exploring near Foot of League Pyramid

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Further Evidence That There's Talent Worth Exploring near Foot of League Pyramid

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

FROM the Wessex League Premier Division to St James' Park in two years - that is the extraordinary dream being chased by 22-year-old striker Jason Prior, the non-league striker due for a trial with Newcastle United in the New Year. Prior is the forward who caught the eye of United's scouts by hitting an incredible 95 goals in 118 for Bognor Regis in the Ryman League South - prompting him to be invited to train with the club in 2012.

It is a fairytale story that has hints of the film Goal! - the incredible rags-to-riches story that sees an unknown South American player plucked from the streets before starring for Newcastle.

In reality, Prior is one of plenty of players who are invited for trials with United every year - even if his story makes him a little bit different.

Prior has taken the route less travelled to his United trial, having been signed by Bognor in 2009 from Moneyfields FC - a 'step five' club in Portsmouth.

He has never played or been on the books of a professional club and has only played for Bognor for two years.

On the verge of a pounds 12,000 move to Eastleigh on Tuesday afternoon, Bognor got the call from Newcastle asking him if he would like to come to the North East so the club could take a closer look.

Club general manager and vice chairman Jack Pearce told the Chronicle: "There was a move in place to Eastleigh but then we got the call from Newcastle asking if he would be interested in going up there for a trial.

"We left the decision up to Jason and he has decided he'd like to go to Newcastle to train with them and see where it takes him. We haven't even set a date for it yet.

"It has got a little bit out of hand after it got out that he was going up there. Newcastle will have lots of players going on trial and we don't want to make too much of it - its just a trial and he hasn't signed for them or anything yet. …

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