CONNOR Hall is on the verge of becoming Bury Town’s fifth rising star to make a move into the Football League.
The versatile 19-year-old, who can play in defence or midfield, has been on trial with npower League One outfit Leyton Orient all week, while Championship clubs Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic have also watched the teenager.
The O’s are prepared to thrash out a deal with Bury and, should Hall make the move into the professional game permanent, he would follow Ben Coker, Ian Miller, Nick Pope and Liam Trotter into the League.
“When it first came about, I was over the moon,” said Hall, who has made 23 first-team appearances for the Blues. “I’m happy with how my football is going at Bury and if nothing works out with a professional club I’ll be happy to remain there.”
It was his man-of-the-match performance against Kingstonian on Saturday that persuaded the O’s to phone Bury up just hours later and firm up their interest with the offer of a trial, during which Hall has been staying with Orient first-team captain Nathan Clarke in a flat overlooking the League One club’s Brisbane Road ground.
He has trained with the first team, played a reserve match and was in the stand to watch Orient’s 4-1 victory over Yeovil Town on Tuesday.
The youngster added: “I’d like to thank Bury for letting me go to Leyton Orient on trial – they have been very supportive of me.”
Coker (Colchester United) and Pope (Charlton) are at the clubs they moved to from Ram Meadow, while Miller and Trotter – who both went to Ipswich initially – are now at Grimsby Town and Millwall respectively, the latter captaining his npower Championship side.
It is not the first time Hall has been involved with a professional club – he was with Cambridge United, Peterborough United and Leicester City before dropping out of the latter’s academy at the age of 13.
Trevor Collins, the Blues’ director of football, said: “We have been aware of some interest from, in particular, Leyton Orient and a couple of other clubs.
“Our younger players are ambitious and we don’t try to stand in their way – hopefully he will do well, but I’m sure Leyton Orient won’t be the last club to contact us about him.”
As long as a formal offer is not made for Hall –who would be able to move outside the transfer window – the West Suffolk College graduate is expected to line up for Bury in their FA Cup second qualifying round tie against Ryman Premier rivals Wingate and Finchley tomorrow.
The Blues are expected to be unchanged, but John Sands could return from a groin injury to take the place of the cup-tied Allicion Blake on the substitutes’ bench.
Bury manager Richard Wilkins, whose side have not beaten Wingate in three attempts, said: “There is £4,500 at stake for the winners and it’s going to be a difficult task.
“We have to make sure we take our chances when they come along and don’t make any mistakes at the back.”