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MANAGER: A group of players to take us through

Paul Simpson on free agents and the possibility of loans

4 September 2023

With deadline day now done and dusted the only question that remained was to see if there could be any potential movement on free agents, or if there was still a possibility that some of our current squad could head out on non-league moves.

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“We’re not working on it, we’ve got a group here and if we get enquiries we’ll look at it,” manager Paul Simpson said. “We didn’t try to force anybody out, we had a couple of enquiries but they didn’t happen.

“We have to have a group of players to take us through the first half of the season. We’ve stepped up to a new level and we’re finding it a challenge, we’re not going to hide away from it.

“Anybody who thought it was going to be easy is a little bit deluded I’m afraid, because this was always going to be a big challenge. I think we’ve played well in a number of games, including at the weekend, and we’ve got something to build on with this group.”

“Like I say, we did have enquiries about a couple of our players, some of it was the players didn’t want to go there, some of it was we couldn’t let anybody go until we knew we had what we wanted.

“These things always go on like that. Even up until 10pm last Friday we were getting agents saying this has fallen through, can we do that one.

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“That’s how frantic it gets when you’ve got Luke Armstrong, who should have signed for Wrexham for an unbelievable amount of money, but they couldn’t get the paperwork in on time.

“We had to call Sarah [McKnight] back, I forget what time it was, we had to say Sarah, you need to be in the building because there’s a good chance this is going to happen. Everybody was on standby, we stayed here until we needed to get the JJ deal done, and thankfully we got it all over the line.”

And on the free agent situation, he said: “I might do, but being really honest, I think we’re at our limit in terms of the budget with bringing JJ in.

“I was really focused on that one. At the moment I think we’ve got a good mix. There may be opportunities where clubs from the non-league circuit might call and ask to take players out on loan, we can still do that.

“I won’t leave us short, it’s more a case of if there’s anybody out there who could be a free agent and available, but that’s for another day.” 

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