Torquay United give Bodmin's Chris Luxton second shot at professional contract
Cornishman Chris Luxton has earned a second chance to try to break through into professional football.
The talented 19-year-old striker, who plays for his home-town club Bodmin Town in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League, has spent two days this week on trial with npower League Two side Torquay United.
Luxton played in a reserve-team friendly against Bournemouth at Plainmoor on Wednesday and has impressed.
Torquay manager Martin Ling said: "Chris has been training with us and we will be monitoring his progress for the rest of the season."
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Luxton suffered a setback three years ago when he was rejected by Plymouth Argyle.
He was on Argyle's books as a schoolboy for five years up to the age of 15, but apparently was told he was too small to make the grade.
He was then given a chance of regular football by Jim Hilton at Newquay and, after a fine season with the Peppermints, he joined Bodmin, where he has been nothing short of a revelation.
Bodmin boss Darren Gilbert said: "Chris deserves his chance and everybody at Bodmin Town wishes him all the best in his trial at Torquay.
"We don't want to lose him of course but we couldn't stand in his way," Gilbert added.
"He has been a super player for us. If he does join Torquay, I want him to know that he will always be welcome back at Bodmin Town."
Luxton has played a full part in Bodmin's trophy successes over the last three years. He was the club's top scorer in 2010-11 with 23 goals and scored six more last season as Bodmin won the treble of Peninsula League, Throgmorton Cup and Cornwall Senior Cup.
His turn of pace makes him a constant threat at Peninsula League level and he also has the knack of scoring spectacular goals.
Luxton's departure would certainly be a big blow for Bodmin, but it appears his immediate future will still be with the Priory Park outfit, although Torquay scouts will be keeping a close eye on him.
Ling is known to be an admirer of Luxton as a player and as a personality.
Gilbert, meanwhile, has said that his belief in his squad has been restored following Bodmin's two exceptional performances in the FA Cup against Bideford.
Gilbert missed his team's 3-2 league win at Witheridge at the start of the month to, he said, "consider my future" after what he saw as a lacklustre start to the season.
He said: "I didn't think we had the heart, desire or passion to win more trophies, and I told the players that.
"But they proved me wrong in the Cup games against Bideford.
"I was proud of each and every one of them."
Bodmin suffered a heart-breaking 3-2 extra time defeat in last Wednesday's FA Cup first qualifying round replay at Priory Park, losing to a goal in time added on at the end of the extra 30 minutes.
That came four days after they had been seconds away from beating Bideford in the original tie in north Devon, leading 2-1 before the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division side equalised with the last kick.
Gilbert said: "The players gave everything they had in those two games against a team who are playing three leagues above us.
"We now have to use those performances as a benchmark for the rest of our season," the Bodmin boss added.