9:00am Monday 1st July 2013
By Andrew Simpson
WITTON’S players return for pre-season training this week, but new recruits will join them only if the price is right.
Manager Brian Pritchard, who expects to announce his first signings of the summer today, Monday, says his summer has been a frustrating one so far.
“I’ve spoken to lots of players about coming to here,” he said.
“It’s not an easy time of year though because lads like to play cat and mouse by playing clubs off against each other. We refuse to be held to ransom though.
“There is certainly a noticeable swing towards money being a priority. One or two I’ve had talks with have asked about wages within the first couple of minutes.
“That’s not what I’m looking for in a personality.”
He believes a side that finished fourth on its return to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s top tier, after three years away, does not need an overhaul.
Only one member of last season’s squad, midfielder Joe Shaw, has left since the end of last season.
Albion have secured the services of supporters and players’ player of the year Ben Harrison in that time as well as winger Josh Hancock.
Both signed new one-year deals a fortnight ago.
Michael Powell and top scorer Shaun Tuck, absent tomorrow through suspension while he awaits the outcome of a court case in the coming days, are already contracted for a further year.
That does not mean Pritchard has not been busy.
He said: “If we can improve on what we have already, then I’ll move quickly.
“There are only a limited number of players available though, and the competition for their signature is fierce as we’re finding out.
“We haven’t got the financial clout to make a big signing, so the challenge is to sell ourselves in the best way that we can.
“Players who see past purely finances will make the right decision about coming here.
“I’ve read comments by our fans about the perceived lack of transfer activity, but I can assure them that isn’t down to a lack of effort on our part.
“We’re not panicking, and everybody is working hard to make sure we’re at least as competitive as we were last season.”
Witton’s squad, shorn of some individuals who are on holiday, gathers for the first time tomorrow, Tuesday.
They will complete six sessions before a friendly at Northwich neighbours Barnton, newly-promoted back to the Cheshire League’s top tier.
To see a list of Witton's pre-season matches, click here: http://bit.ly/8IZ9eL
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group