Saturday, June 23, 2012

From the Archives - Turner Looks For Players

This week current Hereford United manager Martin Foyle has brought in two new players to Edgar Street but admitted it was not easy to find the right players at wages the club can afford.

It was little different this weekend ten years ago after Graham Turner kept just six players from the previous season. He also noted the problems in trying to match wages available elsewhere.

HEREFORD United director of football Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that offers have been made to players as he hopes to bolster an eight-man squad.

"There's still the priorities that we need a left back, a central midfield player and we need a striker," he said. "We need the squad strengthening as well. We've worked hard on strikers; a left back that we thought was going to come in, the club is asking a fee for him. Midfield player we've made offers to. We have a number of offers out to players but they want to see whether they stay in the league and it's almost a period of inactivity as far as clubs are concerned right at the moment. The league clubs have their list of priorities but are keeping others stringing along. They get their first and second choice, and the third and fourth choices are discarded and that's when they might make their minds up."

The players that Turner is after could be out of his reach, he explains.

"There's no doubt about it, we've lost one or two to league clubs and one or two to other Conference clubs and whilst there's many financial difficulties in the league with clubs going into administration and crying poverty, there doesn't seem to be any shortage of money in the Conference. Player are coming back to me and saying they can get better deals at other places and we've lost one or two that I would have liked to have brought in. It's still early yet, and players are still being paid by league clubs. The day their pay stops, the day they'll rush into doing something and we should have our full squad of players within the next week or two."

Offers have been made, and John Grant of Crewe is expected to sign within the next few days.

"We have made a definite offer to a boy called John Grant from Crewe Alexandra. He was on-loan at Northwich last season. He comes very highly recommended and we saw him play for Northwich last season. He's very quick and very mobile, just under six foot and he has accepted but right at the moment, he hasn't actually put pen to paper and sent the contract back. There's a striker, but I still need a number one striker. We've been looking at big lads; one boy Paul Tait I thought we were a long way down the line with him but we lost him to Bristol Rovers. These are the sort of calibre of players that we start off with and if they get better offers, we have to set our sights a little bit lower."

Of the new signings made already, Turner thought Ben Smith has great potential. "Unfortunately, Ben has a series of injuries whilst at Southend and never made any sort of impact," said Turner. "At Yeovil, he was a very, very good midfield player whether being the playmaker or getting forward. I thought it was an opportunity to get him."

"Jamie Pitman made an approach to me," he explained. "He still lives and works in the city and asked if we were interested. I looked at Jamie's record and how well he's done in the Conference at different times and thought it's worth taking a chance with him. He's an experienced player and has played in a variety of positions and I'm sure he's capable of doing a good job with us."