As the final whistle of this season was blown this weekend at Wembley and now everybody knows who they will be up against next campaign, managers and fans will turn their attentions to assembling their team’s squads for August and the season that awaits them.
Scouring forums, checking retained lists and reading local newspapers fast becomes a part of the football fans daily routine as they scout out potential signings for a club and follow the ins and outs of the clubs around them.
Now every club will have released their retained lists fan focus will turn to replacing those players who have either been released or turned down a contract offer. So far at Shrewsbury we have witnessed seven players depart, four of which were released and the other three leaving for other clubs and two players come in.
This leaves us with a lot of gaps in our squad that need filling and Turner will no doubt already be talking to potential signings with him confirming this week that the arrival of new faces were imminent.
So what positions need covering and who could be the men to cover them? With the release of Ben Smith and with Chris Neal still not having put pen to paper for next season (though it seems likely he will) bringing in a new goalkeeper should be our first priority. The release of Steve Simonsen after his heartbreaking penalty miss this past weekend at Wembley will no doubt have caught the attention of many managers in league one and I for one would be more than happy to see him arrive at our club. An experienced player and one who has just had a fantastic season at arguably the biggest side in the division would be a more than welcome addition to the side. Another name that is doing the rounds at the minute is transfer listed Paul Rachubka the Leeds United stopper was listed at the end of the season by manager Neil Warnock after a string of high profile mistakes for the Yorkshire club earlier in the season had seen him sent on loan to Leyton Orient and Tranmere. A lot of Shrewsbury fans don’t seem too happy about this so fingers crossed it is nothing more than idle speculation.
With the recent departures of Ian Sharps and Shane Sherriff we have lost our central defensive pairing which was so pivotal in keeping our unbeaten home record and sealing our promotion to League one. Whilst I feel Sharps will be replaceable Shane will not be so easy to replace. A name which seemed to be appearing on a lot of message boards and in Newspapers was that of Rory McArdle. The former Rochdale centre back has just been released by Scottish premier league side Aberdeen and in my opinion would be a fantastic signing. Another possible signing that has reared its head in the last few days is Huddersfield Town’s Nathan Clarke. A defensive pairing of Clarke and McArdle could certainly be a solid back two next season and with the return of Reuben Hazzell to fitness we would once again look very good at the back.
The big rumour going around Shrewsbury Town’s message board is our supposed interest in Ryan Hall of Southend United. The midfielder would require quite the transfer fee I Imagine and there appears to be no real substance behind the rumours. Hall would be a fantastic addition to the side but if the transfer fee is too high I’m sure Turner could find us better value for money somewhere else.
That just leaves up with the strikers. We have managed to keep hold of three strikers from last season in Bradshaw, Morgan and Gornell and we are now playing the waiting game for James Collins. The only name going around for us at the moment is that of James Brown from Hartlepool. Some fans were hoping for a bid for Lewis Grabban but to no avail and it would appear there are very few other rumours going around at the moment.
So who will our new signings be and more importantly when will they be announced? I for one hate waiting around and can’t wait to see us get some new signings in. Patience is a virtue though and I trust in Turner to bring together a great squad for next year.
You can follow me on Twitter @LiamHoofe