Craig Elliott says he will give Grant Roberts game time to prove himself as the midfielder bids to earn a new deal with Boston United.
Roberts has been out of action for almost two years following a knee injury picked up while playing for the Pilgrims at Chorley in August 2016.
An infection and long stay in hospital hampered the former Histon and Gainsborough player’s recovery, but now he is back training with United, also featuring in their first pre-season fixture at Basford.
“It’s great for him to be back playing football, that’s the main thing,” manager Elliott told The Standard.
“He’s a really good lad and has worked hard in training with us.
“But he doesn’t quite have that fitness yet as he hasn’t played enough games.
“You can see he’s still a good player and has a lot of attributes.”
While Elliott has already said thanks-but-no-thanks to a number of trailists, he believes Roberts deserves more time to rebuild his game.
“It’s important that Grant gets fit so he can show us what he can do,” he continued.
“I think he could be a good player for us, so we’ll give him a few matches to get back in it and build his fitness levels back up.
“Match fitness is a completely different type of fitness.
“We’ll assess that and then we’ll take it from there.”
Elliott told The Standard that bringing in two strikers remains his priority, and he hopes at least one deal can be finalised this week.
Six trialists, including former Pilgrim Lamin Colley, were given an opportunity to impress in the 3-2 friendly defeat at Basford last Thursday, but Elliott said nobody caught his eye.
When asked if anyone impressed he added: “No, if I’m being honest.
“I brought a few in to have a look but nobody has really put themselves forward in terms of getting a deal.
“I’ve let a few of them go now because it’s important we concentrate on the team.
“We’re at that point in training this week when we begin working on shape and plans for next season.
“The important thing is that we get the best out of our lads for the start of the season.”