BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower is pleased with how new forward Eddie Church has hit the ground running in pre-season so far, but has warned fans not to get too carried away.

Having laid on an assist against Silsden at the start of the month, former Brighouse Town man Church netted both goals in a 2-0 win over Oldham, before scoring again in a 4-0 victory against Eccleshill United.

Bower said: “We’ve got to be careful, because it’s only pre-season, but Eddie’s had a good couple of matches and shown some impressive attributes.

“He’s good in and around the box, he creates space for chances, and he’s got plenty of natural ability.

“He’s shown us how he plays and as long as the team learn to play with him and give him the right service, he has a real chance of doing well for us.

“We won’t get carried away, but he’ll be very confident after the start he’s had and it gives us something to work with.

“Hopefully we can help him improve now and he’ll reward us with some goals.”

Church is only in his early twenties, but at the other end of the scale, Bower is confident he can persuade Avenue veteran Adam Nowakowski to stick around.

He explained: “Adam’s been away working a lot this summer, but we’re still hoping he can stay with us for another season.

“Both parties are keen to have him back, and when he’s back next week, we’ll have a proper discussion then.”

There could be signings announced sooner than Nowakowski, with Bower saying: “We’re working on a couple of deals around bringing trialists in.

“We’ve pushed on some young players over the last few years here, who’ve done well and then got a move higher up the league pyramid.

“That’s probably made us a more attractive proposition for players and agents, and it means we’ve seen a better quality of trialists this season than in the past.

“There’s also been a nice spread, as some years, your best trialists all end up playing in the same position.

“We’ve got a few difficult decisions coming up, because we can’t take all of them on.”

Avenue end their pre-season with games against Scunthorpe and Guiseley this week, and Bower said: “They’ll both be good tests and what we need, because both are close to the standard we’ll be playing week in, week out in National League North.

“Pre-season has been a bit of a mix so far, but these will be more serious games, in the sense that we’ll have players playing the majority of the game, rather than chopping and changing and making a load of substitutions.”

Avenue’s pre-season has seen them play Bradford City despite not having the required county affiliation, have their game against Campion called off as a result of that administration issue, and lose to Silsden, before those wins over Oldham and Eccleshill.

Bower said: “Pre-season is always that way, where you get games called off, have a couple of injuries and blood a lot of trialists.

“You don’t want the players to do too much either, as you want them cooking nicely for the start of the season.

“I’ve dealt with challenges before in pre-season and I’ve had to do it again this time.”

One of those was the hastily-arranged game against Eccleshill, with scheduled opponents Sheffield United Under-23s, with whom Avenue have a player partnership, having to pull out due to injuries within their camp.

Bower admitted: “It definitely would have been good to get a look at the Sheffield United youngsters, but I completely understand why they had to call the game off.

“I know a lot about their younger players anyway through our partnership and though a game against them would have been useful, it won’t harm us moving forward in terms of recruiting from the club.”