Bernard McNally: Quality loans 'could be key’ for Shrewsbury Town
Bernard McNally has urged Shrewsbury Town boss Sam Ricketts to raid Premier League academies for uncut gems.
The former Town midfielder believes Shrewsbury's movements in the loan market are central to any success they have next season.
McNally feels managers, including Town's Sam Ricketts, will have used the Covid-19 lockdown to 're-think' plans for how their side line up and the style they adapt.
But the recruitment drive remains key, insists Shrews' former hometown hero, as with when the inspired loans of Dean Henderson and Ben Godfrey helped Town to the play-off final three seasons ago.
"I think there will be a lot of managers thinking the same as Sam," McNally said.
"While it is terrible what has happened, for some it could have been the breathing space that allows them to re-think things.
"The shape they are going to play, can they get players back in, can they pinch young players from the Premier League?
"A bit like when Town took (Ben) Godfrey and (Dean) Henderson, look where they've gone.
"I think the key is getting three or four quality young players who play beyond their years, with a physicality to them.
"The big clubs want them to get experience and that would be exciting for us."
League One action looks set for a September return with the presence of even a reduced number of fans still up in the air.
Former academy coach and AFC Telford boss McNally feels the period will be tough on Town's hardcore fans.
"It's part of some fans' life, it's part of their routine. It's what they live for," he added.
"They regularly turn up, the hardcore turn up come rain or shine, wins or defeat and they can remember every game.
"It'll be difficult for fans. They want to be there and part of it. You could see that with Leeds, Liverpool and West Brom recently with fans celebrating.
"They want to share in it. So often you can have so many poor or indifferent years, and when you do have success you really want to show your appreciation in something big."
Midfielder Romain Vincelot, released by Town this summer, has joined relegated League Two side Stevenage.
Popular former Shrews loan striker Carlton Morris has rejoined Salop's League One rivals MK Dons on loan from Norwich.