Les Parry admits he still needs players to fill out the Tranmere Rovers squad ahead of the new League One season
MANAGER Les Parry is looking to add at least three fresh signings to his squad as Tranmere build up preparations for the start of the new League season a week tomorrow.
The Rovers boss is satisfied he can send a strong “First XI” into the pre-season friendly at Shrewsbury Town tomorrow and the opening League One fixture against Oldham Athletic at Prenton Park a week later.
But with just 17 professionals under contract, plus on-loan goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen, Parry does not yet have the depth of cover and competition required to see Tranmere through the next nine months.
The group of 17 includes two players, Ash Taylor and Alan Mahon, who face lay-offs lasting until December because of injuries, together with first-year professional Jack Mackreth, who has no first-team experience.
Parry’s targets include a right-back, a midfielder and a striker. Some new triallists could see action in a reserve team friendly at Altrincham tonight.
Parry admitted: “We still have holes to fill in the squad. We still need another three or four players. For instance, we have three players for the three striking positions and no one to spare. That is obviously not enough. We are looking for another striker, another midfielder and a right-back. I will see how much those three cost us and if there is any money left in the kitty, we may go after one more player.”
Tranmere signed one triallist this week, giving a one-year contract to former Sheffield Wednesday trainee defender Nick Wood. They also agreed a two-year contract with Enoch Showunmi, an experienced and powerful target man who was released by Falkirk at the end of last season.
But they said no thanks to triallist Matt Hollyoak, a full-back who had been playing in the USA and who appeared in the friendlies at Mansfield and Chester.
Tranmere may have another look in the Altrincham game at Maxime Blanchard, a French defender who played in the opening pre-season game at Cammell Laird and Mark Manga, a defender who picked up an ankle injury in the first few minutes of Tuesday night’s friendly at Chester. Jake Simpson, the son of Stockport manager Paul Simpson, may get a run up front at Altrincham.
Parry said: “We are looking at a new batch of triallist coming in. That is the only way we’re going to identify players for the money we are able to pay.”
Meanwhile Parry plans a scouting trip to Ireland early next week to check on a possible target. He added: “We could be signing players right up to the day the season kicks off and beyond. We won’t rush to get players in just to make up the numbers.”
Parry is satisfied the side he puts out against Shrewsbury will be very close to the one that takes the field against Oldham.
He said: “The Shrewsbury game is very much a dress rehearsal and we will approach it as if it was a competitive match. We will be trying to win the game by playing the way we want to play for the rest of the season.
“We want everyone to know their jobs, not just the players on the pitch but everyone right the way through the club. They should all know what is expected of them so things work like clockwork.”