Stoke look to the Aztexs
Stoke City's US affiliate club, Austin Aztexs look set to send their first batch of players over for trials at Stoke in September.
The Aztexs, based in Austin, Texas are owned by Stoke City director, Phil Rawlins and coached by former Potters' player, Adrian Heath. They're now into their first season in the USL-First Division and have another former Potter, Gifton Noel-Williams, amongst their ranks. They've not done too badly so far this season, which runs from March through to September, winning four and losing five out of their first 15 matches and currently sit just below mid table.
Besides the obvious links with the owner and the fact they also play in red and white stripes (what else!), Stoke hope that it will provide a good source of raw talent from the other side of the pond and Inchy Heath has plans to send two or three a year for trials at the Brit: 'Our aim in the long term is to supply players with potential to Stoke, and if they feel that they're not up to that level, they can place them elsewhere.'
Heath added: 'I've got three or four players here who I know can play in England, but we have to find out what level that's going to be at.'