HOLBEACH United hot-shot Andrew Tidswell has earned himself a two-week trial with Finnish outfit SJK.
Tidswell, who has bagged 23 goals in the UCL Premier Division this season, is hoping to make his debut for the second tier side – full name Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho – today.
Finland’s football season doesn’t get under way until March, with SJK preparing for life in their equivalent to The Championship. They were unbeaten in a promotion season last time around, winning 22 of their 26 games.
During Tidswell’s initial stay at the club, he could line up against seven-time Swedish champions Djurgårdens IF in a friendly.
With SJK a full-time team, the 22-year-old Tigers striker will face a life-changing decision if offered a contact.
“It’s a great opportunity for Andrew,” admitted Holbeach boss John Chand. “He’s young and has no commitments, so it’s something he’d be mad to turn down.
“He’s training twice a day in a heated indoor dome and tells me it’s minus 25 over there. Hopefully he’ll show them what he’s all about and get a contract.
“It’s another example of the UCL being a great breeding ground for talent. Young, hungry players will get noticed here – you only have to look at Richard Jones (PNS) and Mark Jones (Deeping) getting moves to Corby.
“Andrew’s gone there with our blessing, but if it doesn’t work out he knows he can come straight back.”
Tidswell’s name wasn’t on the teamsheet for Tuesday night’s Lincs FA Senior Trophy semi-final at Bourne Town, which was abandoned after 35 minutes because of a floodlight failure.
The scores were level at 0-0 when the lights went out – and Chand admits it was the right call to abandon the match, with the pitch also hardening amid sub-zero temperatures.
The Tigers boss also praised the Wakes for agreeing to replay the last-four clash this coming Wednesday (7.45pm).
Chand added: “It was incredibly frustrating, but on balance I guess they got it right. The lads said the pitch was very hard to play on and that was only going to get worse. I have to thank Bourne for quickly rearranging the match and agreeing to our preferred date.”
Before the county clash, Holbeach face a tricky trip to in-form bogey side Yaxley on Saturday (3pm). Chand admits his side have “never played well” against the Cuckoos during his tenure, but hopes to end their four-game unbeaten streak.
Lincoln City loanee James Wilson is in line to replace Tidswell in attack, while suspended duo Mitch Griffths and Ash Stevens are ready to return.
Wes Lewis is back in the squad too – and could deputise for Paul Goodhand, whose availability is uncertain.