DAVE Howell claimed this week he's more like a talent show judge than a football manager in pre-season at Harrow Borough.
Like many other cash-strapped managers around, the Earlsmead boss finds himself fielding phone calls and reading through a mail bag of wannabees asking for auditions - I mean trials - all in the hope of unearthing that diamond in the rough.
Sadly, as with the talent shows, many don't live up to the hype. Howell said: "I compare this time to Britain's Got Talent or the X Factor," said Howell. "You get letters from people claiming to be able to do this and that and you then find they can't even run straight or tackle a bag of cement. But we are not the Manchester City of the non-league here at Harrow, so we can't just go out and pay above the going rate and get who we want - we have to be patient and cast our net as wide as possible."
Howell is going to need new faces with the likes of Gary Noel, Jonathan Constant and Dorian Smith having not reported back for pre-season and, Lee Hall and Kwasi Frempong on trials at Woking and Eastleigh respectively. However, a few old faces have joined the trialists at Earlsmead in the shape of Dean Marney, Ricky Brown and Keita Karamoko. "Ricky missed the whole of last season because of work, while Keita has a son at the QPR academy so he's been running around after him," added Howell.