Shropshire Star

Potential recruits have cast an eye on AFC Telford United already

Kevin Wilkin has revealed potential AFC Telford United signings were at the New Bucks Head to watch their play-off games.


The Bucks remain in the seventh tier of English football for another season after their agonising play-off final defeat against Leamington more than two weeks ago.

The Telford manager is now planning for next season after it was confirmed his side will play in the Southern Central Premier League once again next campaign.

And speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, Wilkin revealed potential transfer targets were at the Bucks’ play-off games with the final seeing an attendance of more than 4,000 people.

He said: “There were several players that we have been speaking to that came to watch both the semi-final and the final.

“You look at the atmosphere the stadium and Telford can generate it was electric.

“From an atmosphere point of view, there will not be many clubs at this level of football that will be able to create that sort of situation.

“Players need to understand that they come to the ground see the surface we play on and the size of the ground it should be appealing to players, but you find the majority of players are quite driven by the financial side of the game as well – and they will go where the money is.

“Us and lots of other clubs at the level can pay reasonable money to players.”

And Wilkin says when it comes to recruitment this summer he will have to make the budget ‘work as hard as possible’. “We are having conversations and it is about trying to piece things together,” he said about plans for next season.

“I need to make the budget work as hard as it possibly can and get as many players who we feel are capable of delivering at the level.

“Negotiations are ongoing and may take a little bit of time. Some players will want to get things sorted a little bit sooner than others and it is a bit of a mixed bag.

“Like I say we have got to work the budget as hard as we can as we do not have a bottomless pit of money that we can just go and pay willy-nilly to certain players and give them exactly what they want all the time.

“That has to be understood and we spend our money wisely.”

After relegation from the National League North last season, the Bucks faced a huge rebuild.

But this time around Wilkin’s team will have a ‘nucleus’ of a side still in situ while adding a couple of fresh faces to improve the squad as they seek to go one better next time out.

He said: “The fact that we are staying where we are and hopefully there won’t be as many players needed to bring into the group, even though clearly we will have to make decisions on one or two. By and large, we are keeping the group together and the players have been really consistent.

“Hopefully there is the nucleus of a consistent side there that will be complemented with some new players.”

Despite the future looking bright for the club, Wilkin admitted losing to Leamington is still taking some getting used to.

He said: “I think after the final everyone is a little bit sore after it. We had been in good form for a good period and we did not come up with the goods on the day if I am being honest.

“It is a poor as we had played for quite some considerable time so it took a little bit of getting over, but you do.”