MARK Collier confirmed he is still in the market for a ‘couple’ of additions to his Chippenham Town squad before the new Southern League Premier Division season gets under way.
The Bluebirds boss has already re-shaped his side with the additions of Matt Coupe, Toby Osman, Jordan Roberts, Ellis Dunton, Luke Ballinger, Conor McCormack and Omar Simpson this summer but Collier is keeping an eye on a handful of players doing their pre-season at other clubs.
He said: “We’re talking to a couple at this moment in time and we may have some news on that by the weekend. There are a couple of areas that we’d like to strengthen and we’re just looking at those areas.
“Players may not be getting what they thought they would get at other clubs or it may not have worked out with them, so I’ve spoken to a club in the Conference South and a club in the Conference North and we’ll see how that materialises.
“But I’m not alone in chasing those players – other clubs are as well and we’ll have to wait and see.”
Collier also confirmed his intention to sign on young forward Ben Pring, with the former Cambridge United U18 man likely to begin the season playing for feeder club Chippenham Park.
He said: “He’s a Chippenham lad and he’ll be part of the squad and part of the reserve set-up as well. He started training with them when he came back from his two years at Cambridge.
“We’ve got a club now where you can go and play in the reserves and there’s plenty of football. I think he’s got a bright future and hopefully it’s with Chippenham Town because he’ll get every opportunity with us.”
Chippenham continued their preparations for the forthcoming campaign with their annual Fred Rutty Cup friendly at Toolstation League neighbours Calne Town on Tuesday night.
Alan Griffin scored twice, with one of his strikes coming from the penalty spot, while James Guthrie also fired home a spot-kick as the Bluebirds ran out 3-0 winners at Bremhill View.
Collier’s side crank up the difficulty level this Saturday when they host Conference North Oxford City in their first friendly of the summer at Hardenhuish Park.
He said: “We’ll approach it in exactly the same way. It’s about our fitness levels and about getting in shape playing against a different side.
“Oxford City will pass it around the pitch, play from the back and play a lot of two-touch football, and that’s good for us. It’s not about the result, it’s about us putting in a proper performance to get ready for the start of the season.”
On Saturday, Chippenham and Swindon Supermarine clubbed together to raise around £750 towards the rehabilitation of injured midfielder Rob Dean, who suffered a career-ending knee dislocation while playing for the Bluebirds in March.
The Bluebirds were beaten 2-0 at Collier’s former club, with Josh Morse and Dan Drewitt scoring for hosts.
MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD, PLUS NEWS FROM THE BLUEBIRDS' FRIENDLY WITH OXFORD CITY AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT ON SATURDAY