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Stocksbridge star Scott joins Sonko on trial

Friday 3rd August 2012
Ibrahima Sonko tackles Jim O'Brien in Ipswich's 5-3 win at Oakwell last December.

Stocksbridge winger Scott Hogan and Senegal centre-back Ibrahima Sonko are on trial at Barnsley and could sign with the club if they imp ress this week.


Hogan, 21, performed well for Stocksbridge against Barnsley in a friendly last Tuesday and was then invited to come and train at Oakwell.


The former Rochdale reserve player is expected to play in the pre-season game at Crewe on Tuesday night alongside 31-year-old Sonko who was released by Ipswich earlier this summer.

Hill thinks Sonko could be the commanding centre-back he has been looking for if the trial is successful


“We are having a look at him and he is having a look at us,” Hill told the Chronicle.


“I want him to play 90 minutes at Crewe on Tuesday and if we are happy with him then we will discuss a contract. He is synonymous with the Premier League and the Championship and that is the type of player I have been looking for. He has a lot of crediblity and ability but finds himself without a club.


"I would like to sign a player in his position and he is the priority at the moment.We are not looking at any other defenders until we have made a decision on Ibrahima Sonko.”


The Senegal international began his career in France but has played in the top three divisions in England for the last ten years. Barnsley’s other potential new recruit Hogan has a less glamourous CV. He knows Hill from his time as a football scholar at a college that was affiliated with Rochdale. He played for the reserves and youth team at Spotland before going on to play at Halifax then Stocksbridge.


“Scott Hogan is a player that has come on much more than I would ever have expected,” said Hill.


“When he was at Rochdale he was not ready for the demands of professional football. But when I witnessed him play against us at Stocksbridge he looked sharp and  seemed to have grown up and got the endeavour, hunger and desire that we want at Barnsley.


“We have come to an agreement with Stocksbridge whereby he will come and train with us and they won’t stand in his way if we decide to sign him. He will have a chance to prove himself at Crewe. It is a win win situation for us.”


Hill is still looking to sign other players on permanent or loan basis – with a central midfielder a priority – but is happy to wait. He said: “There are a lot of players becoming available and we can pick and choose.”


Barnsley were due to have former Premier League striker Caleb Folan on trial this week but on the morning of his first planned day at Oakwell the Irish international’s agent told Hill that he was going to sign for another club. As expected, both Frenchman Malaury Martin and Greek Andreas Labropoulos left the club at the weekend after unsuccessful trial periods.