BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower has lauded his skeletal squad for their almighty effort during the club's 2-0 FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round win at Gloucester City on Sunday.

A series of issues befell Avenue in the 72 hours leading up to kick-off, leaving Bower shorn of five players and with little time to do anything about it.

Josh Heaton has left the club for personal reasons, while Lewis Rathbone, Jonathan Royle, Mitchell Lund and a potential new signing were ruled out.

Explaining the situation, Bower said: "Josh Heaton has moved on, just to spend some time away from football, while Lewis Rathbone had to leave the country for a family emergency.

"Telford told us we could play (on-loan) Jonathan Royle if they went out but unfortunately they stayed in (by winning 4-0 at Guiseley).

"Mitch Lund trained with us on Thursday and we thought he'd be fine, but he aggravated the injury he had.

"Then there was a player we were looking to bring in, but the club hadn't realised he was cup-tied."

Without naming names, Bower did admit that "one or two players who were not characters we wanted to take forward" have left the club over the last couple of months.

He also said that signing players on non-contracts puts the club in a difficult situation, as it gives them flexibility to move on if "things aren't going their way".

Bower could have few complaints about the attitude of those who played at Gloucester though, saying: "We effectively came here with 12 players fit, available and ready, so the team almost picked itself and what we got was an absolutely superb performance.

"I thought every one of them was fantastic. They worked so hard, worked to the plan and played some good stuff.

"I couldn't ask any more from the group of players that went out there."

Meanwhile, Avenue are hosting trials this week for potential new academy players.

In a club statement, they said: "In a month where a current academy scholar registered to play for the senior squad (Jamie Lyons), Bradford (Park Avenue) are hosting open trials in an attempt to unearth yet more young talent to join the academy sides for the 2020/21 season.

"The trials are for 16 to 19-year-old boys and girls, as the club looks to find the next generation of footballers to join the academy, as well as candidates to join our Under-19s squad this season.

"The trials for the academy and U19s side will take place at the University of Bradford training facility, behind the Laisteridge Lane Student Village.

"The trials will take place from 3-5pm on Friday, November 29."