Clitheroe boss Simon Garner has revealed that he’s scouring the market for a couple of strikers after losing “unpolished diamond” Sefton Gonzales to Stockport County.
Louis Mayers and the versatile Brandon Barski, a summer acquisition from Colne, are now the club’s only recognised forwards, but Garner is hopeful of bolstering his attacking options before the season opener against Prescot Cables at Shawbridge on August 15th.
“We’re actively seeking improvement, especially after losing Sefton to Stockport,” he said. “We needed to add anyway, and it’s been a busy couple of weeks seeking recruitments, but Sefton’s departure has left us needing a couple of reinforcements at the top end of the pitch.
“We need different types of options. We want pace, players who will get on the ball, and forwards who are prolific. Strikers tend to get the glory and they hopefully get you wins. We want to find a player who can eventually go on to reach similar heights as Sefton.”
Hatters boss Neil Young expressed an interest in the 23-year-old following their 3-0 pre-season victory in the Ribble Valley earlier in the month.
And, after the two clubs agreed a fee and the player accepted personal terms, Gonzales joined former Blues team-mate Danny Morton at Edgeley Park.
Gonzales was the club’s leading scorer last term, netting 19 goals in all competitions as the Blues finished 13th in the Evo-Stik First Division North and reached the final of the LFA Challenge Trophy at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium.
And Garner feels the move to the National League North is fully deserved: “He’s a massive loss. You won’t find a carbon copy of him which is why Stockport were willing to pay for him.
“He’s one of a kind at this level. There won’t be an exact replacement but it’s not about being Sefton.
“Sefton was one on his own. He was superb for us. He’s big, powerful, athletic. He’s 6ft 3in, left footed, he’s pretty quick, good in the air and he’s a goalscorer.
“He’s an unpolished diamond and he’ll only get better. I think he’ll play in the Football League eventually. It’s a good move for him and he’ll get the coaching to make him even better.”
Garner added: “There’s different types of striker that we’re looking to get. Players are always having to be replaced and we’ll look to find the ‘next one’ now.
“There’s been plenty of players who have moved up the ladder from Clitheroe - that’s the aim. In the short term we want them to do a good job for us and in the long term we want them to progress.”
Garner has brought defender Gregg Anderson back to the club for the new season and has added winger Scott Harries from Northwich Victoria, defender Tom Murphy from Padiham and full back Jimmy Heywood from AFC Fylde.
Meanwhile, Seydou Bamba, Laquan Esdaille and Richard Burns have all parted company with the club.