Mawene among Albion triallists as Rowett weighs up his options
GARY Rowett was keeping his options open over several players when Burton Albion returned to training at St George's Park yesterday.
The most eye-catching name among half-a-dozen triallists aiming to make an impression was that of former Derby County and Preston North End centre-half Youl Mawene, the Frenchman who is a former Player of the Year at both clubs.
But Mawene was not the only unattached central defender on view, with 23-year-old former Rochdale centre-half Marcus Holness also taking part.
Back in a Burton shirt was goalkeeper Ross Atkins, who spent last season on loan at Burton from Derby County.
Orders taken over £2000 , will receive £100 off and the option to take 2 years interest free credit
Terms: £100 off only on orders over £2000 with the option to take 2 years interest free credit , this offer ends bank holiday Monday 27th may 4 pm , this voucher must be printed and presented on ordering .
Contact: 01332 419898
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
But he is just one option manager Rowett is considering for that position.
"We're still in discussions about the possibility of Ross coming back but we're also talking to others," said Rowett.
"The two goalkeepers are something I expect will be resolved by next week.
"But Ross is here because we've started back a week sooner than Derby and it was a good chance for him to get a week's training under his belt."
Burton are expecting to conclude talks with Kidderminster Harriers over their 20-year-old keeper Dean Lyness, although he is more likely to come in as the club's number two keeper.
The signing of 32-year-old Mawene would be one to make people take notice of the Brewers but Rowett says they are some way from a deal.
"Youl is spending a few days with us and we will see where it goes," said Rowett.
"He had a good first half of the season with Aberdeen but he picked up a few niggles after that, so we need to have a good look at him.
"One thing about him is that he's available and there is no denying his quality."
Meanwhile, Rowett is awaiting news on the possibility of concluding a six-month loan deal for highly-rated Brighton & Hove Albion teenager Jake Forster-Caskey, who is the son of Ilkeston player-assistant manager Darren Caskey.
The 18-year-old played four times in the Championship for the Seagulls last season, scoring once, and is an England Under-18 international.
Rowett knows his step-father, Nicky Forster, from their playing days together at Birmingham City and Forster, now 38, was also at Brighton until 2010.
Forster-Caskey was shown around the Burton set-up on Wednesday but is choosing between the Brewers and Oxford United.
"Brighton have just offered him a three-year deal and want him to go out on loan for experience," said Rowett.
"He's an attacking midfielder and an exciting player. There were a lot of clubs interested in him but Brighton have narrowed it down to us and Oxford and we're waiting to see who he chooses.
"I think he could make a big impact but, if it's not us, I'm philosophical about it – we have plenty of wide players.
"And the fact that we're in for him shows people that we're looking for the right sort of players."
Rowett intends to operate with a slightly smaller squad next season, with the theory that there will be fewer "fringe" players unlikely to be involved – this is a situation which will be helped by the return to seven substitutes this season.
As with Nigel Clough and Paul Peschisolido before him, Rowett does not appear to be operating to a specific budgetary figure.
But chairman Ben Robinson had made it clear that last season's wage bill was the largest yet paid out by the club and it seems likely that Rowett will have a similar amount work with.
One reputedly big earner, Darren Moore, is not on the books now, of course, and that will have given the new manager more flexibility.
"We're not spending a vast amount," added Rowett.
"At the same time, we're not trying to get people in on peanuts.
" I'm just trying to get value for money for the club, because that's my role.
"If the chairman says this is the biggest playing budget we've had, he will want to see something tangible for it – and rightly so."