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I'll be picky over new signings, says Bristow
HAVING already signed 13 members of last season’s squad for another year, Jason Bristow says he can “afford to be picky” when it comes to making summer signings.
The Basingstoke Town manager has moved quickly to secure the futures of his key players, including goalkeeper Ashley Bayes, midfielders Wes Daly and Shaun McAuley and strikers Tim Sills and Delano Sam-Yorke.
That means that there is limited space remaining in the squad – and Bristow is keen to make sure he brings in the right players.
“We have got talks lined up with other players but they are only preliminary,” he said. “Time is on our side now we have got 13 players signed up and we can afford to be picky.
“It would be wrong for me to say we are looking to strengthen in this, this and this area because we are quite open. We have got cover in a lot of areas with the players we already have so it’s a case of seeing what is around and if it is right for us.”
In addition to the 13 players who have already signed up for next season, young midfielder Simon Dunn has agreed to remain at the club on a non-contract basis.
“Simon is an exceptional talent,” Bristow said. “The only downside is that the midfield was our strongest area last season so he found it difficult to break into the side and get a run in the team.
“Hopefully he will get a run of games next year and after a good pre-season we will be looking for him to push for a starting position.”
One player unlikely to return next season is New Zealand international defender Steven Old, who has left the club in search of full-time football.
However, the futures of goalkeeper Chay Morris, defender Toby Little and strikers David Pratt and Rob Gradwell remain up in the air.
Bristow said: “We are still talking to David Pratt, Rob Gradwell and Toby Little. We’ll see if we can find some sort of offer for them but it might be a case of waiting until pre-season and seeing what we have available.
“With Chay we are looking to do something similar to the end of last season, where he can go and get games somewhere else but come back if we need him. He needs to play games.”