Youngsters to get a go in Thailand

Last updated : 20 July 2005 By Ben Collins
Among the City squad are Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland and Jonathan D’Laryea - who have one first-team appearance between them.

Lee Croft and Bradley Wright-Phillips made several substitute appearances last season, but with several departures from the City squad this summer, the young pair have a chance to stake a claim for more first-team action at the start of the new season.

Meanwhile, Andy Cole has flown to Bangkok to join the City squad in anticipation of the completion of his transfer from Fulham.

The 33 year-old striker, who found the net 12 times in 29 league starts last season, has passed a medical and is on his way to Thailand.

Jihai Sun has also made his own way to Thailand - from Beijing - and like Trevor Sinclair, will continue his recovery from a lengthy injury lay-off.

“Jihai has looked after himself over the summer and has been sensible about his work,” Pearce told the City website. “He’s raring to go, as is Trevor.

“I’ve brought along 6 or 7 youngsters who will really benefit from this trip, but I also want them to get experience on the field,” the City boss added.

“They’ve shown promise in the weekend games and now will get the chance to play on the biggest stage so far in their careers.”

City were beaten by a last-minute goal at Tranmere on Friday before earning a 1-1 draw at Macclesfield on Saturday.

Jon Parkin gave the hosts the lead in the 3rd minute but the Blues struck back within 5 minutes, trialist Yasser Hussain stroking the ball home from close range after Ireland’s shot was parried by Macc keeper Alan Fettis.