‘It doesn’t stop you reaching for the stars’ – Bootle manager Brian Richardson makes expectation admission

Bootle FC during pre-season

Bootle manager Brian Richardson has revealed their transfer activity may not be over yet as he fails to be drawn on their playoff hopes for the season.

Whilst the experienced boss didn’t want to make a prediction, he did vow his side would continue the endeavour that they showed last season which saw them climb to within reach of the playoff positions.

It’s the first full campaign for the former FC United of Manchester assistant and it has been a busy one for the Bucks.

Michael Carberry completed his step up to Southport as a number of names and faces came in and out of the door at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.

But with the season looming, Richardson hinted that signatures may not have stopped.

He told Off The Park: “We’ve had quite a lot of players through. We’ve signed four out of the numbers who came through the group, we don’t feel we’re finished yet, we’ve got more to go.

“People have come and go, we released three; Liam (Loughlin), Jordan Wynne and Martyn Jackson. We were just overloaded with midfield players and I feel we’ve kept the four we feel are in a position we can move forward.

“We were never going to put seven in, there might be space for another one.

“Me and Liam have probably hinted that he could be moving on, difficult decision, fantastic person, fantastic player, been a great servant to the club and above all, a big influence and a good guy to have in your dressing room but unfortunately when people are getting a little bit older you are looking for something a bit younger and you have to make those decisions even though they’re quite difficult to make.

“Jordan’s been with me a long time, Jordan – great lad – started with me at Prescot (Cables) when he was 18. Sometimes you make these decisions based on what you feel in your gut.

“Martyn Jackson didn’t feature much but another very good player who went.

“We’ve brought in Simon Wills who will go into that group of players, he’s an out-and-out stopper, out-and-out menace, out-and-out difficult player, the type of player you don’t want to play against as a player but like having him on your side. I think he will give us a great deal of leadership having captained Lancaster.

“The goalkeeper situation is between Sam Ashton and Theo Roberts; Sam adds something, he has experience, Theo has his athleticism and again, a difficult decision ahead. We’ve brought young Louis Shead in, recommended, only 19, but you never know with 19-year-old defenders, sometimes they can hit the ground running (and) sometimes they don’t.

“Matty Rain at left-back, he comes in for Carbs (Michael Carberry), I know him from FC United, played for Curzon Ashton last year and a good left-back.

“We don’t feel like we’re done, we feel like there are two more places available, possibly three. We want a bit more competition up front, we possibly need some at the back and at the moment, Conor Millington’s injures, so probably looking to bring in competition all through the team. You can never be satisfied as a manager. 

“I think there’s an expectation for us to get into the playoffs. Like everything in life, there’s no point making daft predictions because you’ll end up with egg on your face, we’d sooner keep our heads down, keep working hard and hopefully see where it takes us.

“The owners would like to see us in the playoffs I don’t think that’s any secret, we’ll do our best. We set our own targets, we don’t need anyone to set our targets, we want to win every game. Listen you will fall short on that but it doesn’t stop you reaching for the stars does it?”

Bootle kick off their campaign with a home clash against last season’s beaten playoff semi-finalists Leek Town.

[Featured image: Will Griffiths]

For enquiries: info@off-the-park.co.uk@OffThePark_