Former Leeds United star aims to impress in Norway

Ben Parker.
Ben Parker.

Pontefract-born professional footballer Ben Parker has been handed a chance to play in Norway after being given a trial by Sarpsborg 08.

The 25-year-old former Leeds United defender saw a move to Bury fall through at the end of last year after impressing on trial only for a transfer embargo to be placed on the League One club, but has been handed a chance to shine in a new country by another ex-Elland Road star.

Parker, who is available on a free transfer after leaving Leeds last summer, is linking up with former United striker Brian Deane, who is now the Sarpsborg manager.

He started training with the club last week and is set to play in a trial game against Lillestrom this Saturday.

If Parker impresses during his stint at Sarpsborg he could be offered a permanent move to the club.

It would be a welcome change in fortune for the former St Wilfrid’s RC School pupil after a series of injuries wrecked his promising Leeds career.

The former England youth international captain Parker made 55 first team appearances for Leeds after signing for them in 2005 from their youth team. He has also had spells on loan at Bradford, Darlington and Carlisle.

His new manager Deane is hopeful that Parker can win a deal.

He said: “He’s in good shape, professional, and has come to us for training. That’s where we stand now.

“We know him well and he has played a long time at Leeds. We would like to look at him.

“He has been a solid player in the clubs he has been and he’s an interesting player for us to follow.”

Castleford player Martyn Woolford has also moved clubs recently after leaving Bristol City for fellow League One side Millwall for an undisclosed fee.

Former Glasshoughton Welfare winger Woolford, 27, signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Lions after making 59 appearances for Bristol City.

He previously played more than 100 games for Scunthorpe United in a three-and-a-half year stint with the club.