INJURY-plagued winger Matt Birley is a “top-quality” player who “deserves a chance”, according to Worcester City boss Carl Heeley.

The 29-year-old Bromsgrove-born attacker has previously played for City but been “blighted” by a groin problem in recent seasons.

And the much-travelled Birley, who is on trial with City, scored a stunning 30-yard free-kick in Saturday’s 5-1 defeat to Championship Aston Villa in front of bumper crowd of 1,972 at Stourport Swifts' Walshes Meadow.

Heeley knows Birley, who can count Solihull Moors, Lincoln and Tamworth among his former clubs, from the time they played together at Bromsgrove.

“When Matt came out of Birmingham City, I was finishing my playing career at Bromsgrove and we played together. We’ve signed him on for City in the past,” said Heeley.

“Matt’s been blighted with a groin problem so hopefully a couple of years out of the game will have settled that down and he’s got a renewed determination to give it another go.

“He asked me whether he could come training with us to get some minutes and I thought he was a real bright spot against Villa.

“We are looking for progression from him.

“If he doesn’t get a recurrence of his injury and wants to build up the minutes, we are more than happy to do that. He’s top quality and he deserves a chance.”

Birley looks set to be given another opportunity to impress in City’s Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final against Redditch United at Stourport on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Last season, goals from Daniel Nti, Sean Geddes and Tristian Dunkley secured a 3-1 victory for City over Southern League Premier Division rivals Redditch in the final.

But it’s uncertain whether another trialist Mickael Partodikromo, who caught the eye against Villa, will have a second run-out for City.

Partodikromo, a lively midfielder, came to Heeley’s attention after his release from Sheffield United, who Worcester lost 3-0 to in the FA Cup last term.

Although Partodikromo didn’t feature in that first-round cup tie at Bramall Lane, City have maintained a link with the Blades.

“Mickael lives in Paris, he was looking for a trial and his agent said he would get him across to us but we don’t know if we will see him again,” admitted Heeley.

“He comes from an island in the Pacific Ocean (New Caledonia), which has got to be a first for Worcester City and a first for the Conference North.

“At this time of the season, you get a lot of offers of trialists and we will keep trying them to see how they fare.

“This lad has definitely got some energy. He had a link with Sheffield United and that’s how he came to be playing for us against Villa.”