Marine manager Neil Young faces transfer decision as Northern Premier League season looms

Marine midfielder Luke Clark scores on his debut

Marine manager Neil Young insists there is still more work to be in done at the club ahead of the start of the season.

The Mariners begin their Northern Premier League campaign on August 13 away to Guiseley. The west Yorkshire side are one of the teams who slipped into the division following relegation from the National League North last season.

Marine won promotion back to the Northern Premier League with their playoff win over Runcorn Linnets but preparations for the season have been far from ideal.

During the summer there has been a number of high-profile exits at the club after last year’s top goalscorer Neil Kengni made the swap to Macclesfield, with Jams Barrigan signing for Warrington Rylands and Niall Cummins calling time on his spell on Merseyside as he put pen to paper at Bury AFC.

Young has already welcomed Mo Touray, Sean Smith, Andy Hollins, Lucas Weir, Josh Wardle, Callum Harris and Charley Doyle to the squad – as well as Jack Dunn who made his temporary spell permanent.

Earlier this week, target George Newell opted for a move to Bala Town despite Marine’s efforts but the manager insists work continues as more bodies are needed to put their “competitive” budget to use.

“We’ve had a big turnover in the squad, we’ve identified lots of players in the summer,” he told Off The Park. “We’ve done most of our work in terms of midfield and defensive areas, we want to strengthen by bringing in another goalkeeper to give Bayleigh some real competition.

“Defensively, we’ve got a couple more signings to do, I’d like to think we’re not far away from completing them. Anthony Miley, we expect him to be back – if everything goes to plan – end of September, October time potentially, his rehab is going well.

“Defensively and midfield areas we’re not too bad, up front we are very short which has hindered our pre-season preparations a little bit but we’ve spoken to many players, many clubs, many agents to try and rectify that.

“But at this moment in time, we have got a competitive budget so I don’t want people thinking we can’t compete or the club aren’t giving us money because we’ve got money to spend, the numbers we’re talking in many cases is just somewhere I’m not prepared to go (to) because It’ll make large discrepancies within the squad. 

“Neil (Kengni) leading goalscorer it’s always not good when you lose your forwards. Again, Neil seen that as an opportunity – we tried to sign him another year in September, he wanted to look at it after Christmas, we tried again to engage but he wanted to wait until the end of the season to see what that brought.

“We made him a good offer but he’s got an opportunity to be hybrid with Macclesfield and you have to consider it financially for him, he took that opportunity.

“James (Barrigan), Rylands tried to sign him, I think again, at Christmas time and think they tried to turn his head a little bit but they’ve come in again and he’s like what they’ve been offered him. He was another player who’s done well for us and moved on. 

“We’re looking at strengthening at right-back and centre-half. Can’t say too much about them because one is currently at another club and the other lad we’re virtually there in terms of talks.

“But the way it’s gone at the moment I thought we had people over the line and other clubs have come in and offered them numbers we weren’t prepared to go to. So at this moment, I think I’ll keep one or two under my hat but the main aim for us at the moment is to strengthen up front.

“We’re hitting many brick walls although we are covering a lot of ground. We’re here there and everywhere watching games.”

With the curtain raiser looming, Young revealed with the current predicament, he highlighted the importance of securing a squad he is happy with before becoming excited for the campaign.

He added: “Well you know, not looking forward to it at the moment because we’ve still got a lot of preparation for it. (I) will do (look forward to it) once it’s there.

“We need to get four or five bodies in, once we get those four or five bodies in and we’re a lot more settled then we’ll start looking forward. We’d of liked to have got them in before now but it’s taken a bit more time but it’s an exciting period for the club in a tough division, probably as tough as it’s been in many years but we’ve got to go in there and do well.

“As I say, I’ll start looking forward to it once we get everyone through the door that we need. 

“The objective doesn’t change whatever you do is to be the best you can be in the league that you’re in – that won’t change.

“But I’m not going to say we’re going to do this or we’re going to do that because it’s a very tough division, a lot of money being spent in the summer and we’ve just got to worry about ourselves, build our squad together then look at our own ambitions once we’re settled.”

[Featured image: Shootin’ It Photography]

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