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Save the Flapper & Firkin

19 July 2017

Life, as they seem to say a lot on Twitter, comes at you fast. A week ago your original/regular Diary was all excited about the three trialists reported to be lining up at Blundell Park against Scunny's youth team. And now look. Two of them seemed good, but presumably wanted too much money, as there's no sign of either Brandon Robinson or Paul Dixon on Town's trip to Devon this week. And the third turned out not to be in Cleethorpes but in Ankara, which proved an insurmountable obstacle to lining up at Blundell Park against Scunny's youth team.

Yes, it wasn't Gençlerbirli─či's exciting young Ghanaian midfielder Kamal Issah joining us after all: it was Kamal Ait El Haj, a 33-year-old who has spent his entire career playing in his native Morocco. Only a cynic, of course, would ascribe this to a hilarious, parochially-minded blunder by the staff responsible for Town's infallible and newly superb new official website, rather than the crafty diversionary tactic, to avoid any potential transfer being gazumped by rival clubs, that it so clearly was.

This was clearly also GTFC's intention in declining to name the three more trialists on show in last night's cakewalk down in Devon. The Grimsby Telegraph, to its great credit, has loyally followed the club's example in refusing to report their names. Happily for rival clubs hoping to gazump any potential transfer, plenty of us saw the teamsheet tweeted by the Mariners' hosts Bideford AFC before it was deleted.

From this we know that the left-back who played the first hour for Town was Jordan Mustoe, a 26-year-old Liverpool youth product who was loaned out from Wigan to several lower-division sides from 2012 to 2014 before joining Westerlo, then of the Belgian top flight (they've now just been relegated). For the last half-hour Mustoe was replaced by Jamil Roberts, who seems to have come through the ranks at Plymouth or something.

Our very own Devon Diary, as you might expect, was on the spot to report that both players looked the part, and was possibly even more impressed by the third trialist, Karleigh Osborne, who came on at centre-half (also after 60 minutes) and did some good shouting and pointing and things like that which are very important for centre-halves. Osborne is a big strong lad who spent last season not playing for Kilmarnock, as he seems to have been injured a lot, but has a good deal of experience in the third division with Brentford and Bristol City. He's 29, which would seem to allow plenty of time to get his career going again.

Watch this space, then, I guess, or particularly those parts of this space where Town's next two kickabouts will take place – at Tavistock tomorrow night and then back in Lincs on Saturday for the county cup semi at Boston. In the meantime, if you're reading this and you're the scout for a rival club, just pretend you didn't read the names of those trialists; or if you're reading this and you're responsible for the content on Town's official website, keep up the good work.