WISBECH Town manager Steve Appleby has placed a goalkeeper and a striker at the top of his shopping list this summer as he looks to next season.
Appleby has wasted no time in speaking to his players some of whom have already received offers from other clubs and has received a really good reaction from those he has spoken to so far with 12 players from this season’s squad committed to staying for the 2012-13 season.
He said: “I would like all the players from this season to return next season and help us try and win the Ridgeons Premier Division title and I have had a really good response.
“The last two seasons I have lost five or six players each time and not of my decision, so it will be tremendous if we can go into next season with a settled squad. This time it looks as through I will have only to tinker with the squad by bringing in two or three players.
“I will be looking to bring in a goalkeeper and goalscoring forward as top priorities and I would also like a goalscoring midfielder.
“Adam Millson and Steve Reid have done really well this season, but I would like bring in someone who gets in the box more and it would also enable to me to play 4-3-3 which I like to sometimes.”
“The new signings will give us even more competition for places. One or two of this season’s squad need to show me they really want to be here next season by upping their game.”
Top goalscorer Chris Bacon was one of the first to commit to the Fenmen and Appleby said: “Chris has been tremendous for us this season the way he has led the line. Even when things have not gone right for him he has still made valuable contributions.
“I think we have helped him rekindle his appetite for the game and so I’m delighted he will be back with us next season.”
Anthony Reeve has struggled with a groin injury but is also keen to return, but much will depend on how the injury situation is.
Appleby said: “Reeve is a decent cricketer and so plays throughout the year at one sport or another. But he is planning to have the summer off from cricket to get his groin sorted out. If he is fit to continue he has said he will play here and not sign for anyone else which is really good news.”
Neal Spafford, who has shown such versatility this season in defence or midfield, has also agreed to return and Appleby said: “Neal is a manager’s delight because he can play anywhere and give you a good performance.”
Others to commit are Paul Cousins, Steven Reid, Ollie Pinner, Scott Johnson, Jon Fairweather, Stacy Cartwright, Adam Millson, Matt Lunn and Ollie Gale.
Appleby has yet to speak Sam Murphy, but hopes to do that tonight at the Reserves game, while Lewis Thompson and Denny Escorcio want to think things over.
Appleby said: “It was disappointing we could not take third place but I think team wise this has been a more successful season for us even though we did not win any trophies.
“The players have moved forward as a group and have a real belief that we can do well and that is why so many have already committed to playing here next season.”