Vaz Te on poised for Reds debut

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BARNSLEY have been handed a welcome boost ahead of their opening fixture of the new Championship season, away to Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

The Reds have signed former Bolton Wanderers striker Ricardo Vaz Te on a one-year deal, but more importantly have received Football League clearance for the player to play tomorrow if selected.

With experienced striker Andy Gray sidelined with a hip injury for up to two weeks, there’s a good chance Vaz Te will make his league debut for the Reds at the City Ground as the club look to get their domestic campaign off to a winning start.

“We’ve got clearance for Ricardo to play, which is good news for us,” Hill told The Star.

“He’s done exceptionally well for us since he came in on trial. He’s a talented young player and I feel as though he wants to prove something in this division.

“I knew he was available and so when we got our pre-season under way we made contact with him and he was keen to come to the club.

“I wanted to find a few more players who could unlock doors for us - and I feel as though Ricardo can do that for us.”

Vaz Te, GED 24, played 58 times for Bolton between 2003 and 10, with a six-game loan move to Hull City in 2007.

Persistent injuries didn’t help Vaz Te in his quest to be a regular at the Reebok Stadium and in June last year he signed a three-year deal to play for Greek Super League club Panionis.

After six months he had his contract terminated by mutual consent.

In February this year the former Portuguese Under-21 international had a trial with Hibernian and signed a contract until the end of the season, but that contract was not extended in June and he became a free agent.

“This is a no-risk deal for me,” added Hill. “He was 16 when he came over from Portugal to play in England and I imagine he found it tough; it was probably a culture shock.

“But I think he’s matured as player now. He’s a talent; he could possibly be a match-winner. It’s a great opportunity for Ricardo.”

Vaz Te has scored twice in pre-season friendlies so far and could link up with Craig Davies, another of Hill’s summer signings on Saturday, with Danny Haynes another option up front, as well as plenty attacking options from a strengthened midfield this season.