MARK Kinsella and Darran Foster will have to adopt a ruthless approach over the summer months if Daventry Town are to be converted from also-rans into genuine Southern League title contenders next season, writes Mike Tebbitt.
Up to half a dozen quality players need to be recruited in the close-season if the Town are to meet the minimum requirement of a place in the play-offs laid down by chairman Iain Humphrey and Kinsella in their two-year plan.
The new management team must focus on every position despite a springtime resurgence which has brought the Communications Park club 10 points from four games going into the Easter period.
For the past two seasons the club have got away with having only one goalkeeper on the books. But Joe Mellings would benefit from having genuine competition for a place in the starting line-up.
Central defence is not a problem as Marcel Simpson has slotted in effortlessly alongside club captain Arron Parkinson while Callum Burgess and Jason Lee can also both operate effectively at the heart of the defence.
Greg Kazaboni is the real deal at right back and also provides options going forward.
Left back is a real problem position following Craig Milligan’s move to Rugby Town.
The midfield also needs strengthening. Josh O’Grady and Claudiu Hoban are the most talented operators here but the hard graft comes from a combination of Adam Confue, George Thompson and Nathan Hicks.
An attacking midfielder would be a real asset – someone in the mould of Ryan Howell – who scored 35 goals for Daventry in two seasons before defecting to Banbury United this season via Redditch United.
The priority up front is a target man to help Tom Berwick regain the scoring touch which brought him more than 100 goals for the club in three campaigns.
Trying to persuade Russell Dunkley to return to the fold would be the obvious answer. “Dunks” has become a leading goalscorer in the UCL this season as the spearhead of Long Buckby’s championship challenge.
That leaves just a wide running attacking player on the shopping list as Daventry have lacked width when going forward this season. A lot to ask for maybe but the Central Division is not an easy one to claw your way out of.
For good measure the Town could do with forging closer links with a step five club now that Daventry United are to be wound up in a month’s time. With no reserve team fringe players need to be loaned out to lower level teams, especially in midweek.
Kinsella and Foster may have entirely different thoughts but whatever happens they will need to have their squad signed up on the dotted line by the beginning of August if a promotion bid is to become realistic.
A repeat of the current campaign which has seen more than 40 players don the purple shirt will surely lead to another season of disappointment following the promotion near-miss only last May.