THE Shakers' secret World Cup scout has hatched a plan to bring top African players to the club.

Gigg Lane fitness conditioner Jimmy Petruzzi has been working with the Angolan national team, who impressed many by pushing Portugal all the way in Cologne on Sunday night.

Before the tournament, Petruzzi was told by Chris Casper to keep his ear to the ground for potential signings and true to his word, the Australian has come up with a way of giving some of the Angolan squad a route into English football.

"The big problem with foreign players is often the language barrier," said Petruzzi. "So if we could bring someone over, perhaps in a coaching capacity, then it would make the transition much easier "African football is still relatively untapped in terms of potential, and while we are not talking about the top, top players, there is still a lot of quality to be found.

"The lads here are fit, powerful, and have got great skill levels. They have really impressed me."

Work permit issues aside, Shakers boss Casper said it is unlikely that the club would have the budget to offer out-of-contract players such as striker Akwa and goalkeeper Ricardo a route into the English game.

"You never say never," admitted Casper. "We try to stay optimistic about signings, but I think it would be far fetched to think we could attract players of that nature. I'm sure there will be much bigger clubs sniffing around after the tournament."

Petruzzi has already used his connections abroad to help bring youth talent to the club, and says the Shakers must continue to cast the net far and wide if they are to be successful.

"As a club, we don't have the staffing resources of some, so if I have to put another hat on once in a while, then what the heck," he said.

"If the fans can see that we are being proactive in finding new players, and trying new ideas, then that can only be positive.

"Sometimes players can just come from nowhere like that. You look at Simon Whaley or David Nugent they had hardly been in the game for five minutes and now they are playing at the top level."

Angola take on Mexico tomorrow evening, knowing defeat will all but end their participation in the World Cup. But the African outfit are staying positive after their show against former colonists Portugal, said Petruzzi, and have their eye on a shock result.

"You never know," he said. "We have seen some amazing things happen in World Cups down the years, so why not?"