Saturday, May 04, 2013

Higgs: Recruitment Must Be Right

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Rovers chairman Nick Higgs has said that it's crucial we get our transfer business sorted early this year and learn from the mistakes of the last two summers. Higgs and Ward have been working hard to retain some of the current crop who were approaching the end of their contracts and have fresh terms on the table to a few others. No secret has been made of the fact Steve Mildenhall has a contract offer and a long-term deal has been offered to John-Joe O'Toole in an attempt to prise the midfielder back to the Mem from Colchester United.

It's also clear we still lack a few players in other positions too before we can start preparing for a 'promotion' push as Higgs wants next year. We seriously lack good wide men and a further central midfielder alongside O'Toole. Some good quality players are on free transfers this summer, including Peter Leven and Jimmy Smith (from Oxford United and Leyton Orient respectively). Either would add good quality that we currently lack in the middle of the park. A poacher would be the final piece of the jigsaw if we were able to sign one as neither Matt Harrold and Ryan Brunt can be classed as a fox in the box. A player in the mould of Jamie Cureton - Ashley Grimes, for example - would be ideal to compliment our big forwards. If we're able to address these positions and recruit sensibly then we've got a great chance next season.

It is thought Oliver Norburn and Ellis Harrison have been offered new deals too but both have gone on holiday so won't be signing any time soon. There are rumours surfacing that Doncaster Rovers are trailing Norburn and this will aid his agent's attempt to negotiate larger wages and signing-on fees. As much as I think he could be a good player I wouldn't push the boat out to keep Norburn. He's proven very little so far and does not warrant large wages. Hopefully the club are able to sort out a fair deal to keep him and Harrison shortly after they return to Britain.

Higgs stresses that we must learn from the mistakes we made in 2011 and 2012 if we're to be ready for the beginning of the next campaign. Last year we hadn't made the signings that we desperately needed and 12 months earlier we made 13 or 14 and it became apparent very quickly that they weren't working out. Quick business in time for the start of pre-season training on June 20th this year will give us a much better chance of getting it right.

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