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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd urged to 'take chance' on trialist Dale Hopson

Ex-Carlisle United favourite Paul Arnison reckons the club have unearthed a gem by offering Darlington striker Dale Hopson a chance to shine in a pre-season trial.

Dale Hopson photo
Dale Hopson

Teenager Hopson burst into the Darlington first team when he scored one and set up two in a 3-1 win over Ebbsfleet last season.

The highly-rated 19-year-old, who came through Middlesbrough’s academy, is hoping for a lifeline in full-time football following the Quakers’ demise after they were plunged into administration.

He linked up with United on trial last week and could be given a run out when the Blues begin their pre-season campaign with a friendly at Kendal tomorrow night.

Hopson arrived at Brunton Park with a strong recommendation from Arnison, his former team-mate at crisis-hit Darlington, who believes the youngster will be a star of the future.

Arnison, a popular defender in Carlisle’s back-to-back promotion teams in 2005 and 2006, has put in a good word for Hopson with Blues boss Greg Abbott.

“The kid really deserves to get a break in football if someone is willing to take a chance on him,” said Arnison.

“In six months or a year’s time, when he gets used to League One level, he could really make a name for himself.

“He was outstanding in training at Darlington and I knew it was only a matter of time before he got a chance in the first team.

“It was hard on the young lads with what happened at Darlington and he was just thrown in at the deep end but he was outstanding.

“He scored on his debut and was the best player on the pitch. The Ebbsfleet midfield and defence didn’t know what to do about him.

“Young kids don’t get affected by pressure of what’s happening off the pitch and just go out and play.

“Dale and another lad called Scott Harrison more than held their own, and I’m sure they will find clubs.

“He has a great chance of making it and I have spoken to Greg as he asked me about him.

“I told him he was definitely worth looking at, and if he gets the right coaching and guidance from Greg and Graham Kavanagh he has a great chance of making it.”

Hopson was one of five trialists who checked in at the club last week, hoping to win a contract.

Italian defender Alessio Bugno, former Huddersfield teenager Harrison Blakey, ex-Cardiff City youngster Jonathan Meades and Workington Reds keeper Aaron Taylor are all hoping to win full-time deals.

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