A handful of trialists from the A-League and NPL are out to impress Carl Robinson over the next few weeks as the new Western Sydney Wanderers head coach looks to beef up his squad in pre-season.
The 44-year old currently has only 13 non-scholarship players on his roster and must fill the void of experience and talent left by the departed Mat Jurman, Pirmin Schwegler and Mitch Duke.
Former Schalke 04 centre-back George Timotheou is currently being run through his paces for the next two weeks in a bid to earn a contract and will be joined by NPL players and off-contract stars in the next month.
"George is one of a number of trialists," Robinson told FTBL. "He's been cleared with health issues but I'm not jumping into a decision on George because he'll take two weeks with us.
"It's positive that he is back on the field - he is a very good young talent. It's good for him to regain a bit of confidence on the pitch.
"One or two [more trialists] are coming toward the end of the week, one or two from NPL and one or two who are off-contract."
The Wanderers squad will only take full shape in the latter half of November with Swiss goalkeeper Daniel Lopar exiting hotel quarantine next week while Simon Cox and Patrick Ziegler are set to arrive in Sydney on Friday and Saturday respectively.
They will enter mandatory hotel quarantine for two weeks but Robinson will need them just as fit as the rest of the squad when they join them in mid-November.
"We have to make a mini-gym for them because they need to get up to speed pretty quickly and obviously they still need to train," he said.
"When they come in I need them fit and I can get them fitter by being around players but the expectation is that they will have to be at a certain level."
Robinson has made clear his mandate for "unblocking" pathways for the Wanderers academy to the first team and has been impressed by Tass Mourdoukoutas's efforts so far.
He added: "The door is open for all of them.
"For example I've got a center back like Dylan [McGowan] and young center-back like Tass [Mourdoukoutas] who I want to see more of who has had a very positive first couple of days."
A-League clubs are revving up their transfer businesses with pre-season in full swing. Perth Glory welcomed former Wanderers players Jon Aspropotamitis and Nick Sullivan out west.
Meanwhile Central Coast Mariners snapped up one of their favorite sons Oliver Bozanic on a multi-year deal. The midfielder famously won the 2011 Grand Final with the yellow and navy.