Steve Claridge doesn’t want a mass of trialists turning up when the Terras report back for pre-season training tonight.
The new Weymouth boss insists he only wants to work with players who have committed their futures to the Wessex Stadium club.
He told Echosport: “It’s been a really frustrating summer because so much work has had to be done behind the scenes. Things have had to change in the running of the club and at the stadium in general which has meant that football has had to take a back seat.
“To be honest, I’m really looking forward to going back training because the feedback I’ve had from my squad has been tremendous and I can’t wait to get working with the lads.”
He added: “It’s not going to be a pre-season where hundreds of trialists just turn up and try their luck. I don’t like that and that’s not the way I want it to be. I need to spend time with the players I’ve got. I don’t know them very well as yet and so the next couple of weeks will be about assessing their capabilities and seeing what holes need filling.
“Until I know what I’ve got, I won’t know what I need and having lots of trialists around won’t help. Obviously I’ll be inviting one or two people in particular to come and train, but there certainly won’t be masses.”
Another pre-season tradition that Claridge is planning to scrap is the one that sees players pounding the streets to get fit. Instead, it will be straight out with the footballs when the Terras gather at Budmouth Technology College.
“I expect players to report back fit,” explained Claridge, who’ll be assisted during the summer build-up by Neil McNab, “and so we’ll be doing ball work right from the start. We’ve got a game in a couple of weeks and so there’s really no time to waste.
“To begin with we’ll be training three or fours times a week with Friday night and Sunday morning sessions added to the regular Tuesday and Thursday spots. That will last for about a month and it will then be back to two nights a week.”
Despite having lost Alex Browne, David Laws, Ryan Ashford and Phil Andrews from the squad he inherited from Geoff Butler, the Terras player-manager says he won’t be rushed into signing new players.
“We might have someone new by the end of the week,” he revealed. “I’m talking to a lad who I’m hopeful of getting. But I’m not going out and signing people for the sake of it. I want quality not quantity and for that you have to be patient.”