RED tape could thwart Chester City’s plans to run the rule over French trialist Damien Mozika in tomorrow’s friendly at Vauxhall Motors (3pm).
A frustrating delay in gaining international clearance means the powerfully-built midfielder may have to kick his heels in the stands.
Chester secretary Tony Allen has completed all the relevant paperwork, but there has been a hold-up in France that means Mozika may have to wait until next Tuesday’s home meting with Carlisle United (7.45pm) to take his bow.
City boss Simon Davies said: “As we speak, we haven’t got the necessary paperwork but, frustratingly, it’s not our side.
“Tony Allen has done his bit and we’re waiting on confirmation that he genuinely is out of contract, because that can sting you, and we’ve got to make sure he’s not suspended and doesn’t have any bits and bobs like that hanging around him.”
Mozika – a defensive midfield player in the Claude Makelele mould – is understood to have ruffled a few feathers with his tough-tackling in training.
But the 21-year-old’s honest, robust approach has earned the respect of City’s players – and Davies reckons he could add a new dimension to his midfield.
The City boss said: “Damien’s come in and he’s just given us something totally different to what we’ve got.
“He isn’t a tricky footballer, of which we’ve got three or four, he’s just solid and breaks the play up.
“He’s a good tackler, which is a skill in itself, and passes it simple.”
Mozika, who does not speak English, was released by AS Nancy this summer.
He spent last season on loan with French third division outfit CS Louhans-Cuiseaux.
Another player on Chester’s transfer radar is well-travelled striker Trevor Benjamin, a free agent following his release from Hereford United.
Davies wants to get the 29-year-old former Leicester man in for a trial, although he is not likely to be on board in time to play at Vauxhall.
Davies said: “We’re going to try to get him in and have a look at him. He played 20 or 21 games for Hereford and scored about 13 goals last year, so he’s a quality player and an experienced player.”
Davies confirmed he did not play Chris Holroyd in Tuesday’s friendly at Southport because he did not want the striker to pick up an injury which could hinder any possible transfer. Cambridge are keen on Holroyd, while midfielder Mark Hughes this week held talks with Barnet boss Paul Fairclough.
John Murphy, Anthony Barry and Shaun Kelly returned to training yesterday after recovering from slight knocks but may not be risked at Vauxhall. Jay Harris (hamstring) and Paul Taylor (knee), who is on loan from Motors, are not expected to play.
Admission prices for tomorrow’s game are £6 for adults, £4 for concessions, £2 juniors.
Admission for Tuesday’s Deva Stadium meeting with Carlisle are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and under 16s.