BARROW AFC boss Paul Cox was able to run the rule over a pair of triallists as the Bluebirds enjoyed a rare Holker Street training session.

The early postponement of Saturday's National League match at Eastleigh due to a waterlogged pitch allowed Barrow to take part in a 90-minute practice game.

All fit members of Cox's squad took part – including new loan signings Michael Donohue and Ben Tomlinson – as well as the two unnamed triallists.

The youngsters featured in a full-sided game, watched from the sidelines by Cox, new assistant boss Gary Simpson and returning physio Sean Riley, as well as the families of the two prospective signings.

Cox would not reveal the identities of the duo – one of whom is a free agent and one of whom is with a club – but said: “It's very early with the triallists. They have come in, both from good backgrounds and neither of them have let themselves down. It was positive.

“We'll see what happens over the next week or so with them. They both have different circumstances, but neither let themselves down.”

Saturday's session was the first time Barrow have trained on their own playing surface for some years.

Cox was happy to have the opportunity to allow his men to become more accustomed to the surface – which has hardened up since the game against Gateshead and Cheltenham and is more bobbly in places – ahead of a run of three home games in 10 days, starting against Braintree on Saturday.

However, the AFC boss said it was highly unlikely the club would be moving their regular training base closer to home from their current Lancaster University venue.

Instead, he said it was possible there would be a switch further away from Furness in the near future, although the long-term aim would be to establish a set-up in Furness.

“It's one of these things when taking the club forward we have to plan very carefully in terms of players travelling etc,” he said.

“One thing I have noticed now, one of the things I have been analytical of with injuries, is the players being sat in cars for a long amount of time. That isn't going to be beneficial to keep them fit and healthy.

“It is what it is. I would love for the training ground to be on this pitch right next to the ground, but if that happens, then we would have a team full of Barrow lads and we've got to be realistic – I don't think I'm going to fill the side full of lads who are born and bred in Barrow, which is unfortunate.

“The dream long-term is to have that with the Academy and kids coming through, but at this present time we might even have to become a little bit more southern-based to make sure that we attract players and are keeping them fit through not being stuck in a car for two or three hours a day.”

He added: “With the game being called off a day early, it gave us a better chance to plan.

“We got the two triallists in, mixed them in with the first-team squad, and had a good 11-versus-11, which told me a lot. I learned a lot, once again. I learned a lot about the new players who have come in and also about some of the other squad members we have got.

“The session keeps the players ticking over. The one thing I asked for was that is was competitive and was.

“We mixed it up a little bit. Players always read into something that that is the first team and this is the reserve eleven, but it was more to do with me having a look at the entire squad, see the ones who are still hungry, see the ones who want to really keep knocking on the door of the first team and the ones who want to finish the remaining games we have to the best of their ability.”