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Portsmouth take Babayaro on trial

Celestine Babayaro
Babayaro played just 45 minutes for LA Galaxy

Portsmouth have taken former Newcastle United and Chelsea full-back Celestine Babayaro on trial.

The 29-year-old was released by the Magpies in December 2007 following a series of lengthy injuries.

Since leaving Newcastle the Nigerian had a brief spell at LA Galaxy, but played just 45 minutes in a friendly.

Pompey have also tied down reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic until 2011 after the Bosnian-born 21-year-old agreed a new three-year-deal.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth have established an official link with top-flight Belgian side Zulte-Waregem.

As part of the agreement Pompey players can be loaned out to the Jupiler League club to gain first-team experience.

"We wanted to link up with a side at a decent level," Portsmouth's director of youth operations Paul Hart told the club website.

606: DEBATE

"We have our own coach in as part of the link-up, so it really is a no-lose situation for us."

Zulte-Waregem have only operated as a club since 2001 following a merger between Zultse V.V. and K.S.V. Waregem but two years ago they reached the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, where they were knocked out 4-1 on aggregate by Newcastle.

"The link gives us an option to use the club for non-EU players, so it opens the world up for us in that respect," Hart added.

"Of course, it works as a feeder system as well. If we feel we have players we can loan, then there is an option for us to do that."

Pompey's academy head to Scandinavia in late July where they will play Danish sides Brondby and Odense BK and Swedish outfit Halmstad.




see also
Fresh chance for Nigeria stars
26 Feb 08 |  African


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