Shrewsbury comment: Transfer hits give Town a chance
Several factors come into making a football club successful – but few, if any, are as important as your recruitment.
Somebody once said ‘you are only as good as your players’.
Tactics, style, fitness, attitude, coaching and management all play a significant role in designing a good team – but if the recruitment is right you are halfway there. You have a chance.
And Shrewsbury Town must take credit for the work completed over the summer.
That work never stops. As soon as the transfer window shut on September 2, Sam Ricketts and his recruitment team switched their mind to January 1 and the next deals, now just some six weeks away.
It was a serious rebuild. The club seem to have had a few of those recently. But Ricketts’ first summer was about the Welshman making the squad his.
Thirteen new players arrived and a significant number left.
Not all will be a success, but Shrewsbury boast a very high hit ratio, meaning the summer of 2019 can be remembered as one of their best windows in recent memory.
A number of people take credit when it comes to a successful recruitment drive. The manager, head of recruitment, scout, the club’s talent-spotters, chief executive and chairman.
Ricketts, Adam Henshall, Luke Fogarty, Brian Caldwell and Roland Wycherley can look back with satisfaction on building a squad more than capable of mixing it at the right end of League One this season.
Let’s start with the big hits. Defensive trio Aaron Pierre, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Donald Love have been immense.
Others have been almost as impressive. Goalkeeper Max O’Leary and left-sided flyer Ryan Giles, two highly-rated youngsters on loan. Callum Lang, too, before his unfortunate injury.
Jason Cummings is a high-profile capture showing his golden touch. Sean Goss has looked a class act. Daniel Udoh has been effective, so too experienced back-up keeper Joe Murphy.
Not all have had a chance yet. Louis Thompson and Luke McCormick, two loan midfielders, have had lesser roles, for different reasons. Perhaps there is more to come from at least one.
Steve Morison moved on after hanging up his boots. It didn’t work out. But then not all do.
Some deals were pricey and ambitious, but worthwhile. Some were cheap as chips and total bargains. Either way, the club delivered.