ASPIN’S KEEP­ING TABS ON THE HEED

The Non-League Football Paper - - RESULTS SERVICE -

IT may be three months since Neil Aspin left Gateshead, but it seems the Port Vale man­ager is still keep­ing a keen in­ter­est on the North East. North­ern League Divi­sion One club Whit­ley Bay con­firmed this week that winger Alex Kemp­ster was on trial at the League Two club. And Aspin has been cred­ited with an in­ter­est in Luke Han­nant, a player he took to Gateshead dur­ing his twoyear stay at the In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium. De­spite play­ing 90 min­utes for the Val­liants’ re­serves on Tues­day, set­ting up a goal and scor­ing one in a 2-0 win against their Brad­ford City coun­ter­parts, Aspin has con­firmed Kemp­ster won’t be of­fered a deal and has now re­turned to Whit­ley Bay. How­ever, the Val­liants boss ad­mit­ted the club will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the 22-year-old winger, along with another tri­al­ist from the North-East. Speak­ing to the Stoke Sen­tinel, Aspin said: “We have had two lads from the North East this week just to have a look at them. They have both acquitted them­selves well, but I couldn’t sign them and put them straight into the first team so there is no point in spoil­ing their ca­reers at the mo­ment. “Once you have seen a player, you have an idea of what he is like. But I think both lads need to play. They are both play­ing well down the pyra­mid at the mo­ment, they need to be play­ing at a higher level con­sis­tently be­fore they could prob­a­bly make the step up to league foot­ball.” Gateshead mid­fielder Han­nant is another player from the North-East that has been linked with a move to Vale Park. Aspin plucked the mid­fielder from North­ern League club Team Northum­bria and handed him a pro­fes­sional con­tract at the In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium. Han­nant has im­pressed for the Heed this sea­son, and Aspin ad­mit­ted he has thought about the young mid­fielder, but is wary of ru­in­ing his “good re­la­tion­ship” with his former club. “He has been in my thoughts pos­si­bly since I left Gateshead, but I have a good re­la­tion­ship with Gateshead and the chair­man. I don’t really want to be tak­ing play­ers off them. “If we were to sign him now we would have to pay a trans­fer fee. He would be out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son so he is maybe some­one we can wait on. But then you are run­ning the risk that, if he does well, other clubs might be alerted. “You are just try­ing to weigh ev­ery­thing up. But I have a good re­la­tion­ship with Gateshead and wouldn’t want to do any­thing that would spoil that.”

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