Crawley Town manager John Gregory hopes to sign two of his trialists by this weekend.
He will be watching them play against top Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion at the Checkatrade.com Stadium tonight (Wednesday) before asking them to put pen to paper.
They have already impressed him during three friendlies they have played against Billingshurst (won 9-0), Oakwood (won 10-0) and on Saturday against a strong Fulham side, which they lost 2-0.
The pair he is considering to offer contracts to are both right-sided midfielders: ex-Watford youth player Bobson Bawling, 18, and Canadian Emmett O’Connor, 21, who has played in Canada and New York, but is an Irish passport holder.
Other trialists he is looking to include are former Dutch international striker Collins John and ex-Shrewsbury striker Johnny Marsden.
One player who will not be appearing is former Stevenage player Simon Heslop, who has signed for League two club Mansfield Town.
Gregory said: “They’ve all done well but those two in particular have done very well on the training ground and in pre-season games so we’ll be looking at those two situations over the next few days.
“I’m looking to add another three minimum to get us up to 19/20 and then we have to be careful not to overspend and stay within the budget we have been given. We are getting close to it now.
“I’m always very aware someone is going to nick one or two of our senior players just before the deadline.
“Peterborough came in for Joe Walsh last year and it was an opportunity for him to move on and which we were almost prepared to take. In the end he didn’t want to go.
“He always shows his loyalty towards the club – he’s very happy here.
“If a life-changing move comes around he’s got to take it and we have probably got to take it. I just hope he’s here on September 1 and he’s a Crawley Town player!”
On Monday, Brighton winger Jeffrey Monakana went on loan to Scottish Premier Division club Aberdeen.
Gregory previously had him at Crawley last season and was interested in bringing him back.
On Friday, Gregory signed West Ham goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel on a month’s loan.
He said: “We already have others who can play in that position such as Lewis Young, Gwion Edwards and Josh Simpson. Our priority was goalkeeping as we only had one ‘keeper so we didn’t chase Jeffrey up.”