DARREN Byfield expects the pieces of his Stratford Town jigsaw to start falling into place within the next few days.
Byfield hopes to announce the first signings since taking over as the new manager to succeed Carl Adams, as well as his backroom team and a list of pre-season friendlies.
The 41-year-old former Redditch United manager has been busy talking to players but, until the official signing forms are available, he has been cautious in announcing any recruits.
Although half a dozen players from Town’s squad last term have followed Adams to his new club Rugby Town, Byfield is upbeat that a nucleus of players will remain at the MoodChimp Stadium, to be augmented by several exciting signings.
With defender Liam Francis and striker Mikey Taylor being announced by Rugby as signings, the Butlin Road side have now snapped up six Town players. Justin Marsden, Lee Thomas, Loyiso Recci and Simeon Tulloch have also joined.
Byfield, however, says his own search for the talented players to come in is progressing.
“I know the fans are disappointed to see players go but hopefully I’ll be able to announce a number of new signings in the next week,” said Byfield.
“The ones who have gone, good luck to them, but I’m not going to concentrate on the players who are not here. My focus is on bringing the right players who want to play for Stratford.
“The fans don’t need to worry. It’s my job to get the players in and that’s what I’m doing. I’ll give them a team to be proud of.”
Stratford will face a new challenge next season in the restructured Southern Central division which has merged the Midlands teams from Step Three. It means Town will face the likes of Tamworth, Hednesford Town, Stourbridge and Halesowen Town and Byfield is excited by the prospect ahead.
“It’s a tough, tough league, we know that,” said Byfield. “It will be tougher than last year but I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m excited about playing more big teams, to see how we fare and to see how we can compete against them.
“I’m sure the fans will look forward to it too, there will be big derbies, a lot more fans, a lot more income and that’s good. We will give it our all.
“I can promise that win, lose or draw, the players will give everything when they pull on a Stratford Town shirt.”