"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)
I released a lot of players over the summer who didn't feature for us last season, primarily to reduce the wage bill. The two most high profile are probably club captain James Wallace, and Jeff Hughes. Wallace has since joined Blackpool whilst Jeff Hughes is still a free agent. As of writing this, the only other players to have actually found a new club are James Alabi, who has joined Barrow and Terry Gornell, who has joined Salford. I think this just goes to show that I made the right decision in releasing these guys.
As well as releasing players, I sold a few too. It was with a heavy heart that I let Ben Tollitt go but the other three aren't really starting members of the first team so are replaceable. I hadn't planned on selling Ryan McGivern but when Cambridge came in I decided to sell as he's getting on a little bit.
With the massive amount of departures, we found that my squad was now looking quite thin. The first thing we did was to extend the loans of Connor O'Grady, Nick Hayes and Sam Brotherton. These three played an important role for us last season and we think that they will again this season. After signing those, we knew what targets we had in mind. Now the season is upon us, we're delighted with the business we managed to do.
To provide backup/challenge Nick Hayes, I brought in Joe Fryer. The 22-year-old played 33 games for Stevenage in this league last season whilst on loan from Middlesbrough.
In defence we brought in Joe Riley, TJ Eyoma, Connor Wood and Harry Lennon. Joe Riley and Connor Wood are to cover/replace Adam Buxton and Alexander McQueen in the wing back positions, Joe playing on the right and Connor on the left. I feel like squad depth will be key if we are to do well in League Two. Harry Lennon is good enough to play straight away at center back, whilst TJ Eyoma is more of a backup option.
Last season our midfield was pretty strong so I didn't really feel the need to improve it much. I renewed the contracts of Chris Dawson and Tom Burridge before bringing in Ollie Banks, Rob Vincent and George Marsh. George Marsh is more of a backup option but Vincent and Banks are more than capable of breaking into the first 11. It'll be interesting to see if they are able to.
Up top I made the controversial decision to release Terry Gornell. Terry had a good season last year but I don't think he's up to League Two standard. To replace him, I brought in Denny Johnstone who spent last season at St. Johnstone. I'm unsure as to whether he'll be able to break the partnership of our usual front three.