Since I last wrote there has still yet to be any agreement reached on the goalkeeper situation. Graham Turner confirmed this week that he and Chris Neal had not spoke during pre season. This doesn’t sound particularly promising though and I think we may be losing another key player going into next season. Chris Weale is a name that is being linked strongly with the club and is a signing I would be very happy with. His experience at Leicester will no doubt prove valuable at a League One club and he would be a very welcome addition to the squad, providing we can keep him fit. Obviously if Neal fails to agree a new deal then we will need to sign up two keepers but we will have to wait and see on that one.
The defender situation looks a little more promising, despite having lost Ian Sharps and Shane Sherriff as we have signed ex Aldershot player and their 2011/12 player of the season Darren Jones. We will also be pleased to welcome back Reuben Hazzell to our defence and with him having been out of action for three quarters of last season, his return will feel like a fresh signing. Hazzell’s fitness could obviously be a problem at the start of the season but I think if we can get the most of him during pre-season he could be fresh come August. We still need to sign up at least two more defenders in my opinion and need to add a bit more depth to the squad at the moment including bringing some more defensive cover in.
The midfield is shaping up quite well going into pre season. We may have lost Nicky Wroe but he has been suitably replaced by Oxford United’s Asa Hall. A strong rumour going around the internet is that we are to announce the signing of Luke Summerfield from Cheltenham this week. This is a signing I’m sure would please a lot of Shrewsbury fans, the central midfielder was impressive in both showings against Town last year and he was instrumental in Cheltenham’s play off push. I think we need to sign another winger to the squad as well, once again just to provide the squad with a more depth and give us some different options going forward.
Our strike force is a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. We lost top scorer James Collins to Swindon last week and we are yet to replace him. Whilst I don’t think losing Collins is a disaster due to the fact he has no experience at League One level, I still think he is going to be very difficult to replace. As things stand one would presume that we would be starting next season with Gornell and Morgan up front. A solid strike force in my opinion. We have also signed Ryan Doble from Southampton. Whilst I’ll admit I’d not heard of him before his arrival, a quick check of career statistics shows that he is a very promising young player. Him and Bradshaw have both played for Wales under 21’s and could have experience playing together.
Turner has said that he hopes to have up to four deals wrapped up by the end of this week. Here’s hoping for a Goalkeeper ( maybe two if Neal leaves) a centre back, a striker and Luke Summerfield.
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