Torquay boss Martin Ling wants Taiwo Atieno to prove himself

Taiwo Atieno
Brixton-born Atieno has made four appearances for Kenya

Torquay United manager Martin Ling has challenged trialist striker Taiwo Atieno to prove he is worthy of a full-time deal at Plainmoor.

Ling said the 25-year-old Kenya international will start the Gulls first two pre-season matches.

"He's got all the attributes, it's about making sure he can put that onto the pitch," Ling told BBC Radio Devon.

Ling is looking for at least two strikers to boost his squad after Chris Zebroski was sold to Bristol Rovers.

Billy Kee is the only experienced recognised striker currently on Torquay's books, along with youngsters Ashley Yeoman and Ray Spear.

"We need to get up to at least five forwards for the start of the season, or at least by the end of August," Ling said.

And he feels Taiwo could be the sort of player to fit the bill after impressing for Luton Town when Ling was in charge at Cambridge United last season.

"He's a strong, powerful centre forward with genuine pace.

"We did some testing at the start of the week on pure speed and he came out as the quickest player at the club."

But Ling warned that Taiwo, who has played for nine English club and three in the United States during the past seven years, needs to settle.

"He's done an awful amount of moving about too often and needs to find a home that suits Taiwo," Ling added.