John Warrington - A Footballing Journey
Going into pre-season I knew that I had a huge job on my hands. We had a lot of loan players last season so I knew I would need to rebuild the squad. Here's what I had at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
The first thing I did was extend the one loan I could, the loan of Charlie Lakin
. Fortunately, we don't have to pay any of his wages so that saves on the wage bill.
The next bit of business was to figure out who to release from their contracts. In this list, there weren't many shocks. The only two to really feature for the first-team last season were Ishmael Miller
and Zoumana Bakayogo
, both of whom are on the wrong side of 30.
I then set to work on building the squad back up and boy was June a busy month.
Six free transfers, five loans and one fee paid!
We managed to sign last season's loanees Tom King
and Shane Ferguson
following their release from Millwall which was really pleasing.
In defence, we started by securing the loans of Aaron Lewis
and Brendan Galloway
from Swansea and Everton respectively. We were then able to pick up Deji Oshilaja
, Jon Guthrie
and Michael Harriman
, all of whom were playing League One football last season. Oshilaja was at AFC Wimbledon, Guthrie was at Walsall and Harriman was at Wycombe. Our final defensive signing was Dion Conroy
, who cost us a fee of 87k.
In midfield, we welcomed three players. Siriki Dembele
came in on loan from Peterborough, Ryan Hedges
came in on loan from Barnsley and we managed to sign Jordan Clark
on a free following his release from Accrington.
We didn't really need to sign anyone up front with us having Paul Mullin, Robbie Keane and James Norwood but I brought in Jayden Stockley
on loan from Preston as cover in case we picked up an injury or two.
This is how our squad looked on the first of July and I was still not content. I felt like Scott Davies and Jake Caprice wouldn't cut it at League One level so I decided to try and get rid of them.
Even I was amazed to get this price for Jake Caprice! Getting that price for Jake meant I was able to expand the squad further. Looking at the squad, I decided that getting another goalkeeper or two in was my priority.
The first man in was James Shea from Luton for a fee of 42.5k.
The day after we confirmed a deal with Oldham which saw Scott Davies move to Boundary Park for a fee or 4.7k, leaving us with Tom King and James Shea as our goalkeeping options.
As a result, I decided to dip into the loan market and brought in Thomas Glover from Tottenham.
Two days later, we received a bid for Paul Mullin from Shrewsbury. After discussions with Mark Palios, we decided to let Paul go and look to sign a replacement.
We replaced Paul by confirming the signing of Danny Rose from Mansfield for a fee of 83k. This was the last deal we made before the season and I'm pleased with the squad we've been able to build. I honestly think it's capable of at least pushing for the playoffs in League One. The only player missing is a back-up CM.
Pre-season went very well with 4 wins and 1 draw. That one draw came against a very strong Liverpool side which didn't really bother me as we more than held our own. The goal scoring form of Jordan Mutch was the big bonus of pre-season and I'm excited to see if he'll be able to take that into the new season.