In his latest close season update, Manager Keith Hill speaks enthusiastically about retaining the majority of last season’s squad, as well as the young talent that he’ll have at his disposal for the 2014/15 campaign.
Since the season has finished, Hill has secured the services of the out contract duo Matty Done and Josh Lillis, as well as striking a permanent deal for Sean McGinty, and recruiting Jack Muldoon.
It’s great investment for the football club,” Hill told Dale Player, regarding Done and Lillis. “For me, Josh Lillis has been outstanding as has Matty Done.
“I’m sure that Matty Done and Josh Lillis both had options to leave the football club but I’m glad they wanted to stay. I feel as though they can both progress and they can both help us progress as a football club.
“And added to that, I do believe that another key signing is Sean McGinty. Sean is pedigree – he’s a left footed central defender, he’s 6ft 3 and a royal marine in his stature and it was great that we got him in to have a look at and to see if he was compatible. The jury is probably still out at a lot of football clubs with regards to Sean, but the boy is pedigree. We witnessed while he trained with us what a good addition to the squad that he is.”
He continued: “There won’t be too many more additions to the squad that I’ve got at the minute. Or what’s the point in doing what we did last season. For me, last season was unbelievable preparation for this season in League One because at the beginning of last season, I believe that we had at least a League One squad, with some very good development players.
“Some of those development players like Jamie Allen, Scotty Hogan have really grown up and matured and performed to an excellent standard, and I expect them to develop and improve going into this season.
But I’ve also got Scott Tanser - I have seen massive strides in his development in the bounce games and on the training pitch, and the same with Callum Camps. There’s still an opportunity for Joel Logan, and we also got Andy Cannon coming through. There’s Joe Raff and Rhys Bennett who’ll be better players. There’s Peter Vincenti, Oliver Lancashire, Ash Eastham, who will also be.
“Then we’ve got the Brian Barry-Murphys who, if I’m being honest, I gave the opportunity to have a season of rest while he was catching up on his coaching responsibilities. But Brian Barry-Murphy could be a massive player for us next season – he could be our Ryan Giggs. So I’m really, really happy with the squad of players that we’ve got – it’s so balanced.
“I’ve got to trust these players and I will them their opportunity during pre-season and the first part of the season. I won’t over spend money. We’re very guarded in making sure that we invest properly instead of speculative investment.”