JAMIE Brough says creating a ‘close-knit’ squad is of great importance as Eastwood Town’s players returned for pre-season training this week.
The Badgers’ joint boss says player recruitment has been a well thought out process as he and Craig Armstrong try to build a squad virtually from scratch, and that those joining must buy into what the new regime are trying to achieve and be committed to the cause.
He said: “We know the kind of players we want and have done a lot of research, and while a lot of players we’ve both signed and looked at have very good pedigree, what we don’t want is any ‘big-time Charlies’ who just see it as a quick buck and don’t put the effort in.
“We feel the players we’ve signed so far fit the bill perfectly. Between Craig and I we’ve worked with quite a few of them so know what attitudes and qualities they will bring to the club.
“It’s not just about being a great player on the pitch. It’s also about what you can bring to the dressing room and how much you can be part of the close-knit club we’re trying to build.”
Brough says he expects two more players with Football League experience to sign for the club in the next few days, and also confirmed Eastwood have turned down a bid from Mansfield Town for defender Adie Hawes, the only player left at the club from last season.
“Adie has made it clear he wants to go, as much from a financial security perspective as anything else which we can’t really fault him for, but as we’ve said all along the deal has to be right for Eastwood Town FC and the bid we received was well below what we require,” said Brough.
“We also couldn’t agree a swap deal so for now Adie is our player and he will report for training on Thursday night (30th).
“We’re hoping to have deals agreed for two players with great experience in the next few days, and will take a look at a few more at training although we don’t want to have a huge batch of trialists here if we can help it.”
Meanwhile, Brough also took time out to praise the work of Badgers press officer Andy Cope, who resigned from his role at the club last week.
Brough said: “I want to thank Andy on behalf of everyone at the club for all the hard work he has put in during his time as press officer.
“The fact the club’s match programme was voted best in the division a couple of years ago is testament to his efforts, and we hope to see him still following the team as a fan on a regular basis.”
l The Blue Square Bet North fixtures will be announced next Tuesday (5th) with Brough hoping for a favourable first game.
He said: “It doesn’t matter all that much as obviously you have to play everyone at some point, but it would be nice to have a home game against one of the bigger, well-supported clubs like Halifax or Boston first up to hopefully create a good atmosphere.”
See next week’s Advertiser for the full list of Eastwood’s fixtures for the new season.