STRIKER Jamie McDonagh has been asked to extend his trial period with Morton while midfielder Reece Hales and an unnamed Dutch winger have been told they will not be offered deals.

The trio joined the Ton for pre-season training last week and played in closed-doors games against a touring team of free agents and Dundee.

Manager Jim Duffy felt midfielder Hales and the Netherlands-born wideman were of a decent standard but too similar in style to current members of his squad and not what he needed.

Northern Irish Under-21 international forward McDonagh, a 20-year-old striker who recently left Sheffield United, has shown up well and will be given more time to win a Cappielow contract.

Duffy told the Tele: “We made a decision on the boy from Holland and he won’t be staying. His attitude was terrific and he worked hard, but he wasn’t quite in the style of what I was looking for.

“We made the same decision on Reece Hailes and he’s gone back down south. I thought he was a good player, has a lot of attributes and did well, but he’s a wee bit too similar to what we have.

“To be fair to the boy, he couldn’t have done much more than what he did — I was just looking for someone who would give us something a wee bit different.

“We’ve asked Jamie to stay on this week and that’s what will happen there just now and we’ll see how that one goes.

“I just think he’s got something to offer. He’s got good movement, his touch was good, and he looked to stretch the game.

“There’s certainly a bit of potential there — he’s only 20 — and it would be good to see him for another few days to assess it if it’s possible. I can’t say one way or another at the moment.

“He’s got to think about where he wants to go as well, and he might have other options, I really don’t know.

“But he knows we’re keen on him and it will be a case of having an extended look at him and having a chat over the next few days.”

Duffy has stressed the importance of managing the number of trialists training with his squad at any one time, and with two moving on, he will now run the rule over a French forward starting today.

He added: “We have a French boy coming in. He’s a wide player who can play off the front as well, and he’s more of a technical, creative player as opposed to hard working or defensive-minded.

“He arrived yesterday and he’ll train with us today. 

“It will be the same sort of thing with regard to the time period he will be with us: we give a minimum time and not a maximum time.

“For example, Jamie rolled his ankle on Wednesday, didn’t train on Thursday, played 70 minutes against Dundee in a bounce game on Friday.

“Rolling his ankle could have easily seen him miss the game, and when he played he wasn’t 100 per cent, and that’s a part of the reason we’d like him to be here a little bit longer.

“But it shows a player can turn up and have to miss a few days, so I’ll always say the trialists will be here for a minimum period until we’ve made a decision one way or the other.”

The Ton drew 1-1 away at Dundee in a bounce game on Friday, with Gary Oliver scoring the goal, and although Duffy considers the result irrelevant, he was pleased with the workout.

He said: “If you win these kinds of games, people can get a bit excited about it, and if you lose quite heavily they think: ‘Oh, that’s terrible’.

“For me, it’s just a closed doors game to get some game time — there are a lot of substitutions — and look at certain aspects of the team, and play the three boys we were having a look at.

“We started players and gave them about 70 minutes before changing it, and the ones who didn’t start will start against Airdrie in another closed door game this week.

“We gave some young players a run out as well, the likes of Lewis Strapp and John Mitchell, and boys like that got the chance to play against Premiership players, which is great experience.

“Overall we didn’t get any injuries, players got a good amount of minutes under their belt and the fitness levels and attitude was really good. Generally speaking I was really pleased with the players.”