WORCESTER City trialist Chad Sheppard is expected to sign for Willenhall Town.

The 19-year-old defender has been offered a deal by the Southern League Division One West outfit after failing to make a big impression at St George's Lane.

Sheppard, formerly of Birmingham City and Tamworth, was one of four young players training with City this summer in the hope of earning a move.

Player-manager Andy Preece said: "Chad has been offered something at Willenhall. He did well here, but he will sign for them."

The other three trialists -- Jimmi-Lee Jones, Danny Hodnett and Robert Hubball -- were due to learn their fate during last night's training session.

They will know before Worcester's final pre-season friendly at home to Newport County tomorrow (3pm).

With the Nationwide North opener at Kettering Town just eight days away, Preece is poised to field his strongest possible side against the Welshmen in preparation for the Rockingham Road clash.

Worcester have picked up a mixed bag of results in pre-season, beating county rivals Kidderminster Harriers 2-0, drawing 0-0 at Evesham United and losing 1-0 to an Oxford United XI in their last three games.

But Preece believes the test with Nationwide South outfit Newport, managed by former Welsh international John Cornforth, is the ideal warm-up with Kettering in mind. Preece added: "Newport are playing in the same standard of league to us. So it's a good match for us just before the start of the season.

"We need to be playing somebody like this for our last pre-season game. It's important so we know what we are going to be up against on a weekly basis.

"We've been trying to play every game with a high tempo and it will be the same again. We want to finish off pre-season on a high and that means trying to win the game."