Cobblers boss Boothroyd to keep on-trial quartet at club

HEAT-SEEKER - Aidy Boothroyd was appreciative of everything but the weather at Sileby Rangers
HEAT-SEEKER - Aidy Boothroyd was appreciative of everything but the weather at Sileby Rangers

Hat-trick scorer JJ Hooper and three other trialists will all be kept on by the Cobblers after their performances in the friendly win at Sileby Rangers, manager Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed.

But striker Mickael Antonie-Curier won’t be retained and will pursue offers he has pending elsewhere.

Striker Hooper, midfielders Lateef Elford-Alliyu and Gary Deegan and veteran centre-back Darren Purse will all continue to train with the club and should feature in Tuesday night’s friendly at Cogenhoe United.

Hooper turned in the most eye-catching display at Sileby, scoring a hat-trick, but Boothroyd will not make a snap decision on offering him a contract until he is certain the player can make an impact in the first team.

“We won’t be taking things any further with Mickael,” said Boothroyd. “He’s got other offers and I’d prefer to use the money he is looking for in other areas.

“But we will keep the other four on for a little bit longer. I want to have people for as long as possible because I want a small squad of players that I know can come in and make a difference.

“There is no way we can have a development squad. The players who went pro out of the youth team last season need to be challenging for a place in the first team and JJ would fall into the category too.”

The situation with Darren Purse, who finished last season with league two runners-up Port Vale, is slightly different.

As it stands, Boothroyd is doing the 36-year-old ‘a favour’ by allowing him to train with the squad and play, with Kelvin Langmead still rehabilitating after a late-season knee operation.

But he did not rule out doing a deal for Purse, who he likes a lot but who has plenty of offers from elsewhere.

“Darren is a bit different,” he said. “I’ve known him a long time from playing against him and he lives locally, he’s five minutes down the road.

“He has got opportunities but they are in the north of England so I want to get to a situation that suits him and suits us.

“I might need to shift a few things around if we are to sign him so at the moment we’re doing him a favour but I’d never say never to a player with as many medals as he has got.”

The game was the first for Northampton Town at Sileby Rangers in their history, and the outstanding condition of the pitch, combined with the warm reception afford to the club staff, ensured it got the thumbs-up from Boothroyd.

“It’s the first time I’ve been here and the weather wasn’t the best for footballers but the pitch, the facilities and everybody connected with the club were first-class,” he said.

“I really appreciate them giving us the opportunity to play here. The weather was a factor in the game but we played some good stuff and I was pleased with a few things.

“They gave us a good game and in these games the opposition have got nothing to lose.”