CARL Adams believes his summer rebuilding can create his strongest ever Stratford Town squad.
Having embarked on a major reshuffle 12 months ago, the Town boss is happy to see an evolution of personal.
He expects to kick off the new Southern League Premier season with “four or five signings”, with versatile midfielders Eli Bako and forward Jazz Luckie set to be the latest additions.
Both have played at the same level with Redditch United and have featured in Town’s last two warm-up games.
“There’s real competition in the squad now,” said Adams. “Towards the back end of last season, there were games when I only had three subs and sometimes the team was picking itself.
“Now I’ve got the numbers and the options. I feel the squad is stronger than it has ever been, certainly in terms of numbers.
“It was important to keep the nucleus together from the building we did last season. I always said we were going for younger players because we wanted to build for the next two to three years.
“There will be the rough with the smooth at times but I’m happy with how we are coming together.”
Stratford continued their build-up with a 2-0 win at Alvechurch on Tuesday to follow a 2-2 draw at Bedworth on Saturday, but they face the highest level opposition in their friendly programme on Saturday when Solihull Moors visit the MoodChimp Stadium.
Summer signing George Washbourne’s first goal for Town plus an Ash Carter own goal put Adams’ men 2-0 ahead after 15 minutes against Alvechurch, while Ben Stephens and Justin Marsden were on target at Bedworth in a second half comeback after the hosts had led 2-0 at the interval.
The experience and know-how of one-time Cheltenham Town and Worcester defender Andy Gallinagh plus the returning colossus Loyiso Recci have bolstered the defence, while Lee Thomas, signed from Hinckley, has provided plenty of energy and tenacity in midfield.
“I’m happy with what I’ve got and it’s important we keep settled. We’ve been working hard with the group for the last three or four weeks and you could see that against Alvechurch, especially in the first half,” said Adams. “There are a lot of pluses at this stage.”
Meanwhile, Town will hold a free open family fun day on Saturday, August 5 ahead of the final friendly with Sutton Coldfield Town.
The event, which starts at noon, will feature plenty of family-friendly activities and competitions, as well as the official opening of the new stadium sponsorship deal with Stratford-based social app MoodChimp.