CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier thinks he may have to wait until later in the summer to further strengthen his squad for their new life in the National League.
Collier has already tied down 15 members of the squad that won the Southern League Premier Division title to deals for next year.
Darren Chitty, Dan Bowman, Rhys Baggridge, Matt Jones, Nuno Felix, John Beeden, Michael Pook, Chris Allen, James Guthrie, Andy Sandell, David Pratt, Alex Ferguson, Matt Smith, Will Richards and Greg Tindle have all pledged their future to the club, while 40-year-old Gary Horgan has also been offered a new deal.
Collier has also made three new additions, with last week’s double signing of Dean Evans and Mark Cooper followed by the arrival of goalkeeper Jason Matthews in a player-coach role.
The trio, who have all signed for the Bluebirds from Weymouth, have been on Collier’s radar for some time and the Chippenham chief is happy he’s managed to lure them to Hardenhuish Park.
However, any further recruitment is now likely to have to wait until pre-season is back in full swing.
“I’m still working on a few things but I wanted sort of the existing squad first and we’ve done that,” said Collier.
“The only one who hasn’t signed is Gary. He is getting married in the summer and he is 40 so there is plenty for him to think about.
“He’s been given an offer, he just need a bit more time to talk to his wife-to-be, but I am hopeful on that one.
“We know we need a bigger squad next season and we’ve brought a few players in already. If we had a game tomorrow, we’d be happy with where we are.
“We’d like a couple more but it might be a case of waiting until pre-season now to see which players might be available.
“With Jason, we know we needed to a bigger back-room team as well as a bigger squad and he can cover both basis. We know we can’t go into the season with Darren Chitty as our only goalkeeper.
“Dean and Mark are two decent signings and they are two decent players. Both have had an effect on us when we have played against them.
“Cooper is a right-footed and left-footed full-back who can play at centre-half as well, so that gives us options across the backline.
“Evans is one who has always impressed against us, he’s got that fire in his belly and he’s a box-to-box midfielder.
“He gets in both boxes and is always a threat going forward, he is defensively sound and he is another one who has quite a bit of experience.
“Speaking to both lads they both wanted to come, they both showed a desire to be at the club and they fit the budget.”
Chippenham will host Skybet League Two side Newport County in a friendly as they prepare for their maiden National League South campaign next season.
Collier’s side will entertain the Welsh side - a former club of striker Sandell - on Tuesday, July 18 (7.30pm).
The Bluebirds have also announced three other friendlies as part of their summer programme.
Town will travel to Banbury United on Saturday, July 22 (3pm), followed by Bristol’s Hallen on Tuesday, July 25 (7.30pm).
Collier’s men will also visit nearby Melksham Town, bossed by former Bluebirds chief Darren Perrin, on Saturday, July 29 (3pm).