Toland in talks

GARY Hamilton is to offer trialist left back Lee Toland a short term contract this week.

The former Newcastle United man has been playing for Hamilton’s side during pre-season and had hoped to get a new club in England or Scotland. However, Hamilton is going to try and keep the Northern Ireland U19 international by offering him a deal to stay at Mourneview Park, even if his stay only lasts until the January transfer window.

“He’s going to play another match for us this week and then we’ll sit down and offer him something,” Hamilton said.

“Whether it will be enough or not is another thing but we’ll make him an offer and see what happens.

“Lee’s young and maybe we can offer him a short-term deal even to January to put himself in the shop window for a move back across the water. Maybe he’ll be keen to come in and do that.

“He’s been training with Derry City every day. He’s done really well in the games he’s played for us and hasn’t looked out place.”

Meanwhile, former Glentoran duo Aiden O’Kane and Grant Gardiner are unlikely to be joining the club as Hamilton saves his funds for another striker, with his search for more fire-power still ongoing.

“O’Kane and Gardiner are in different situations and they’re looking a permanent contract, which we’re not able to offer at this minute in time,” he said.

“There’s a bit of money there but my priority is to sign a striker. I’ve been honest with them and told them that and so if they don’t want to continue playing for us and risk injury, then that’s fair enough.

“If the situation changes regarding bringing in a striker, then I’ll go back to players like that and I’ll maybe have to get another body in.

“I’d have liked to have the money to bring them both in because they’re good lads and they’re versatile but that’s football and that’s what we have to do.”

Hamilton has already brought in forward Guy Bates this summer, with himself, Matty Burrows and Andrew Mitchell also vying for a starting spot up front. However, he is still looking for one more striker, but with other clubs also searching, his quest won’t be an easy one.

He said: “I’ve been talking to Ronnie McFall and Glenn Ferguson and they’re in the same position, looking for a striker.

“Ronnie and Glenn have been searching all summer and with their reputations they still haven’t been able to get anyone in so that shows how little there is out there.

“We’ve got Guy Bates in but we have another one in the background. These things take time and it might come off, it might not, who knows?