19th Jul, 2018

Summer signings to make all the difference - Smith

Bromsgrove Editorial 17th Jul, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

MANAGER Paul Smith is confident his summer signings can turn Bromsgrove Sporting from nearly-men to title-winners.

Last season saw the Rouslers finish runners-up in Midland Football League Division One and miss out on promotion for the second successive year.

Despite winning the Les James Challenge Cup, Sporting’s inability to secure top spot led Smith and his coaching staff to question what they were doing wrong.

But he said he now believes they are close to putting the final touches to a new-look squad which can end their wait for the division’s top prize.

“As we finished second last season, we obviously weren’t quite good enough,” he said. “We all looked at each other and at ourselves and felt there were a couple of key things missing from the squad.

“But I am pleased with how well things are shaping up and if I can finalise the last few deals with players I feel we will be going into this season in a stronger position than we finished the last.”

Sporting thrashed FC Stratford 7-4 in their opening pre-season friendly last Saturday and Smith believed the impact of new signing Luke Corbett, who bagged a brace on his debut, demonstrated he would be a big asset to the club next season.

“Straight away we were looking for a 30-goal-a-season man,” he said.

“We have retained the likes of Josh McKenzie, Sean Brain and Jozsef Jakab who will come close to that, like last year.

“But then we have brought in Luke Corbett who has played all his footballing career at a higher level than this and brings a wealth of experience.

“Just watching him score his two goals on Saturday you could see he was a class apart.

“I was also looking for an attacking central midfielder who could score ten to 15 goals to take the burden off the likes of Reece Hewitt and Sammy Wills and I have been able to get that in Luke Dugmore.”

Will Tibbetts has decided to move on, but Bromsgrove have snapped up Oliver Gibson to take the right winger’s place.

Smith has also managed to retain centre back pairing Scott Smith and Craig Jones, while Chrisi Conway appears to be closing in on agreeing a new deal.

But the Sporting boss insisted there was still plenty of spaces up for grabs ahead of their trip to Cradley Town tomorrow (Saturday).

“I am looking to carry a squad of 20 regulars and I think I have got 15 nailed down for next season, so there are still five we have got to finalise,” he said

“I have said to all the players that I would narrow things down after the Stratford and Cradley games, so this Saturday will be the last chance saloon for a few to impress.”

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