Eastleigh handed a trial to former Saints teenage defender Ryan Tafazolli in Wednesday’s 0-0 friendly stalemate at Weymouth.

But like fellow Spitfires trialist Jordan Rose, the giant 6ft 5in centre-back has his sights set on breaking straight back into the Football League.

Defender Rose had been expected to feature at Weymouth after an encouraging run-out for Eastleigh at Romsey Town last Saturday, but instead he is heading off for trials with Bristol Rovers and Crewe.

Tafazolli, meanwhile, is off to try and show Championship outfit Reading that he has what it takes to carve out a professional career.

“Ryan’s trained with us a couple of times and he did okay at Weymouth,” said Eastleigh boss Ian Baird.

“He’s off to Reading now and we’ll see what happens there.”

Eastleigh have 13 players tied down for next season – nine seniors, including ex- Reading and Gillingham youngster Andrew White, plus teenagers Ben Wilson, Sam Wilson, Liam Hibberd and England Schoolboys international defender Jack Vallis from Shrewton United.

Baird could do with another couple of strong, young ex-pros like ex-Stockport County man Rose, 21, and 19-year-old Tafazolli to add to that list.

But like so many young guns released from professional clubs, neither has given up hope of breaking straight back into the Football League.

“It’s difficult because all these players who get released have aspirations of going back into full-time League football,” said Baird.

“They’ve got agents, some good and some bad, who are trying to do what’s best for them and get them trials, but the reality is that some of these lads are going to be left in the lurch.

“They’ve got to realise that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to go forward.

“What we’re trying to do is bring young players in and develop them so that they can hopefully go on and have professional careers just as Aaron Martin, Brett Williams, Mark Mashall and Damian Scannell have done.

“But sometimes explaining that to these players is like talking to a brick wall.

“They don’t necessarily believe what you’re telling them.”

Eastleigh’s other trialists at Weymouth included ex- Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Mike Green, who is currently on trial at Cheltenham Town, and midfielder Gary Pride from Portsmouth.

Although the game ended goalless, Baird felt Eastleigh were worthy of a win.

“Andrew White created some good chances for himself.

On another day he would have scored four,”

said the boss.

The Spitfires’ senior team visit Sholing next Tuesday, Oxford City next Saturday and then entertain Saints on Wednesday, August 3 (7.45pm).