Cobblers chairman Thomas ‘comfortable’ about player recruitment progress

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas says he and boss Justin Edinburgh are ‘really comfortable’ with how the summer player recruitment is progressing at Sixfields.

Three players have been signed on since the end of the season, with winger Daniel Powell joining from Milton Keynes Dons, left-back George Smith from Gateshead, and midfielder Sam Foley from Port Vale.

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

On top of that trio, academy graduates James Goff and Joe Iaciofano have also signed professional deals, with striker Leon Lobjoit being snapped up from UCL Division One side Buckingham Town.

John-Joe O’Toole has signed a new contract, as has skipper Marc Richards, but there have also been plenty of departures.

Reigning player of the year Zander Diamond, goalkeeper Adam Smith, right-back Neal Eardley, midfielder Paul Anderson and central defenders Gaby Zakuani and Rod McDonald have all left, while the six loan players who boosted the squad in the second half of last season have all returned to their parent clubs.

It means the Cobblers squad is 16-strong as it stands, with no central defenders under contract, but Thomas insists that things are on track, and that time is very much on the club’s side.

“It is important to get a couple in early as we have, but May is really a tough month, and a couple of other chairman have mentioned how difficult it can be with what people’s expectations are,” said the Town chairman.

“We won’t rush things, we want to get things done and we have, and with the addition of John-Joe O’Toole re-signing as well, which I think was a real positive, and a couple of other players with their contracts and extensions.

“We are really comfortable with where we are at, we know we have got some additions to bring in, but we have got some set up.”

And he added: “People go away at this time of year, and we have to understand that.

“I think this is always a tough time, and fans want players in tomorrow and players in and done and dusted as quickly as you can, and it is a process.

“We still have five weeks before the start of pre-season, and 10 weeks before the start of the season, so we are comfortable.

“Everybody is working very hard behind the scenes. I know Andy (Melville, head of recruitment), James (Whiting, chief executive) and Justin are constantly talking.

“I was with Justin at the league two play-off final on Sunday and we talked quite a bit about what we are doing, and he is meeting players all the time.

“We are comfortable with that, and pre-season is going to be exciting.

“We have a couple of games to be announced which we are in the process of doing, we are going to Spain and we are in good shape.

“On the back of that, with the season ticket numbers as they are, that is a really pleasing aspect to what we have done.”

Cobblers squad details for season 2017/18

Contracted players: Brendan Moloney, David Buchanan, Marc Richards, Alex Revell, Sam Hoskins, Shaun McWilliams, Aaron Phillips, John-Joe O’Toole, Leon Lobjoit, David Cornell, Matt Taylor, James Goff, Joe Iaciofano, Daniel Powell, George Smith, Sam Foley

Under contract but transfer-listed: Jak McCourt, Harry Beautyman, Raheem Hanley