Business is almost done for Blues’ boss Phil Brown

Striker Elliot Pond became Clitheroe's 10th signing of the summer
Striker Elliot Pond became Clitheroe's 10th signing of the summer

With just a few weeks left until the 2019/20 campaign gets underway, Clitheroe boss Phil Brown says that his work is almost done.

The former Lancaster City boss, a promotion winner during his time at the Giant Axe Stadium, has made 10 signings in the transfer window so far, with many getting off to a good start in the 4-0 win over Nelson.

Brown is more than happy with the way his squad is starting to take shape, but the head of football at Myerscough College would ideally like to make a few more additions before time runs out.

Lee Ashforth’s successor has landed most of the players he’d targeted when stepping in to the hot seat at Shawbridge in May, though he’s still awaiting the decisions of others he’d spoken to in recent weeks.

“We haven’t got a massive squad,” said Brown, after beating Andy Harrison’s Admirals at Victoria Park.

“I’m only adding players to the squad who I feel will make us better. We only went to Nelson with 18 players and two of those were goalkeepers.

“We’ve got 18 training with us at the moment and we need a couple more. The squad will ideally be made up of 18/19 players.

“That will make us a little bit stronger in key positions on the pitch. It will give us a little bit more depth.

“We certainly need that in central midfield. We’re not blessed with having loads of players in that area.

“The recruitment process has been quite focussed, everyone has their own niche and responsibility.

“We’ve got the lads in that we wanted and we’re still waiting on one or two others to make their minds up. Everything seems to be going well for now.

“I feel that we still need two or three more players to add to the group that we’ve got in order to cope with the demands of the league.”

Brown wasn’t expecting the Blues to set the world alight in their first outing in pre-season, but he’s delighted with the progress that is being made statistically.

The coaching staff have been monitoring the numbers since day one, equipping the players with GPS vests to track their performance.

And they’re heading in the right direction. With friendlies against Blackburn Rovers Under 23s, Charnock Richard, AFC Blackpool, Barnoldswick Town and Bamber Bridge still to play, Brown said: “We’ve had the GPS monitors on the lads in training and they wore them during the game.

“We’ve had six sessions now and I can see the lads progressing. I can see them all getting fitter. The data is improving all the time, whether it be distance covered, sprint distances or speed. It’s going in the right direction.

“We’ve been giving the players that aerobic base and tailoring our training regime that’s specific to playing. We’ve got to be sharper and we’ve got to recover quicker, but that will come. We need to be more astute and have more conviction in our style of play.

“We’ve still got loads of work to do, but I didn’t expect us to be where we are at this stage. It’s so far so good.”