PICKERING Town manager Denny Ingram has blasted excessive player demands as the Pikes toil to strengthen for the coming season.

So far, Pickering have secured the signatures of 14 players from last term - but there are no new faces as yet, despite ongoing discussions.

Not everything is doom and gloom at Mill Lane, though, as they have "a very good nucleus" of a squad, and coaching staff capable of moulding a good team from untested players.

"We're behind because we're not able to get anybody," Ingram said. "That's not to say they didn't show interest - we've have a lot of interest from numerous players where everything's been superb face-to-face. They've liked what we said and said money is not an issue.

"But they go away and speak to other clubs or partners and realise other clubs are are paying ridiculous money and they get the idea they deserve it.

"Pickering Town can't compete.

"We're trying to bring in players to improve us or kids who have come down from a higher standard, and they believe they have a God-given right to serious money.

"I believe you come in and you earn your money. It's not an issue doing your job on the field and saying, 'I deserve a pay rise'.

"I'm not one who panders to players.

"If they're not coming in for the money being offered, then I'm not going to bankrupt the club.

"We've got players in who are keen, eager and ready to go and earn their money instead of demanding it."

The players who have already put pen to paper with the Pikes are Matty Turnbull, Stuart Mott, Danny Earl, Niall Tilsley, Nick Thompson, George Bissett, Joe Danby, Brad Freer, Jamie Barkway, Dan Davison, Billy Logan, Aaron Brettell, Alex Knox and Archie Whitfield.

Ingram added: "I've got some irons in the fire with untested players who are looking to progress their career.

"If that's the route I've got to go down, then I've got to trust in my coaching ability to mould Pickering into a good outfit who can compete.

"With myself, Ryan (Blott, assistant) and the older players in and around to step up and help, I can't see why we wouldn't be successful."

The Pikes have also released their list of pre-season friendlies, with the visit of York City on July 30 (7.30pm) to Mill Lane the last to be announced.

Ingram said: "Massive thanks to Dave Penney (sporting director) and Tim Ryan (youth team coach).

"It'll be a good little game for us at home and a fantastic test, without a shadow of a doubt.

"I might even put my boots back on, give myself a little run out," he joked.

Ingram will be lacing his boots back up, however, for a charity match between legends from Scarborough FC and Scarborough Athletic on July 6 to raise funds for Boro’s new stand appeal and Scarborough Hospital’s Diabetic Unit.

"I don't know what team I'll be on - I'm a legend at both teams," he laughed.

"I might swap teams at half-time - unless the team I'm on is winning. I want to lift some silverware."

Pickering's full friendlies list is: Barton Town (A, July 2, 7.30pm), Stockton Town (A, July 5, 7.45pm), Blackpool Wren Rovers (A, July 13, 3pm), Knaresborough Town (H, July 17, 7.45pm), Bishop Burton tournament (July 23, 24 and 27), York City (H, July 30 7.30pm), Scarborough Athletic (A, August 3, 3pm).