Gulls clash is 
last chance for Mart to shine

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Leeds United will make a decision on the future of trialist Martin Cranie after the final match of their pre-season tour at Torquay United tonight.

The out-of-contract defender, pictured, is in line for his fourth appearance of the summer at Plainmoor in what is likely to be his final opportunity to earn a deal from manager Neil Warnock.

Cranie is without a club after parting company with Coventry City after their relegation to League One and has been training with Leeds for the past two weeks.

The 25-year-old has turned in three competent performances against Farsley, Tavistock and Bodmin Town and is expected to start alongside Jason Pearce in the centre of United’s defence this evening.

Striker Andy Gray has already won a 12-month contract, during this week’s tour of Devon and Cornwall, from Warnock on the strength of a short but successful trial.

Warnock said: “I said we’d talk after Torquay. That’s what we’re planning to do. He’s come down with us for this week and I’ll have a chat with him after the game.”

Cranie was one of three players, along with Gray and goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, who completed 90 minutes at Bodmin, a game which saw Paddy Kenny and Luciano Becchio miss out with thigh and ankle injuries respectively. Transfer-listed forward Billy Paynter has a groin strain.

Warnock said: “These games are a matter of getting your fitness up, getting the minutes under your belt and coming through unscathed. They’ve had all the ingredients you want from pre-season friendlies.

“We’re being a bit extra-cautious with Paddy and he’s not doing any kicking at the moment, and Luciano’s tweaked an ankle so there’s no point rushing him.”

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