AT THE end of every season, thousands of players around the world are released from football clubs and consequently set about trying to secure themselves a contract at another professional side.

Many are picked up without a second thought for a variety of reasons, while plenty of others must exhibit their skills and personality in just a matter of days if they are to continue living the dream.

According to the i newspaper, 97 per cent of former 'elite' academy players now aged 21 to 26 years old failed to make a single Premier League appearance. With these case studies, plenty are therefore forced to pitch themselves lower down the pyramid or overseas for a shot at making it.

Pre-season is the perfect opportunity to do this, and fans expect to see plenty of 'the Trialist children' on show - especially in the early fixtures.

READ: Bolton Wanderers midfielder 'identified' as being on trial at Swindon.

But why are these players never voluntarily named by clubs? At first glance, there seems to be no reason why being named would make any difference to the whole process.

In reality, there are two reasonable explanations for players remaining anonymous. Firstly, clubs don't want to alert other clubs about certain free-agents which could therefore lead to said footballer being stolen away.

Whether this is a worthwhile concern is probably up for debate - with the standard of recruitment in professional football these days, surely clubs know exactly who they are going to want to sign and the profile of player they would go after?

The other reason pertains to the player's point of view. Footballers may not enjoy having their ego dented if a trial does not work out. They, understandably, don't want scouts, agents, or clubs knowing they have failed and may not be the prized asset they claimed to be.

The player would much rather experience X number of trial periods and sign for a new club with the illusion that the whole deal was a foregone conclusion anyway.

Some fans find it extremely frustrating to not know who is wearing their club's shirt in a snail-paced match against a semi-professional side on a baking-hot (or invariably rainy) July afternoon.

Meanwhile, others enjoy the chase of finding out who the slightly overweight centre-midfielder is that looks a bit like that bloke who used to play for Bolton Wanderers in the early-to-mid 2000s. 

Whether you don't mind the Trialist clan turning out for your team or the anonymous aspect grinds your gears to no end, it seems the most-populous family in football won't be trying their hand at any other sport any time soon.