Recruitment update from Calum McIntyre

    Blues boss Calum McIntyre pens an update for supporters…

    I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update on what is going on behind the scenes during an immensely busy time of year. There is so much to be excited about for the season ahead.

    Season Tickets are flying out, the Boost the Budget campaign once again is reflecting the incredible commitment of our supporters and work is well underway on a football front for the new campaign. I wanted to focus this update on our recruitment for the season as we look to build a squad that is capable of delivering our aims.

    Firstly, a final word on Wyll Stanway’s move to Barrow AFC.

    As much as we are obviously sad to lose a Goalkeeper of Wyll’s talent, he moves to the EFL with the genuine best wishes of everyone at the club. It is quite right that his performances have been recognised and he has been given a terrific opportunity to progress into full-time football at an EFL club.

    An important part of our footballing model needs to be our ability to develop talent and move them on for transfer fees to allow us to grow our own resources. The deal we have done for Wyll is a really good one and I am hopeful that we can use the fee we have received to improve the wider group. Equally, there is the potential for further financial rewards in the future.

    Jack Bainbridge is a really important signing for us. In the previous two seasons we have wanted to add a physical, defensive-minded midfielder to the group and we have finally been able to do that.

    He is a 6 foot 3, hard working midfielder. He has added a promotion to his CV last term at Marine and the physical presence and athletic profile he brings to our group will be absolutely vital in complimenting our impressive current midfield options.

    I want to be really direct in my messaging to the supporters regarding our recruitment.

    Last season has gone and we are looking ahead to next season. We are really clear on what we want to add to the group. We want to add a physicality that we have been missing in the past two seasons. We want to add some experience to a group that has some exciting young players in. We want to add goals to a team that didn’t put the ball in the net enough last season.

    Adding Goals to the team is a combination of adding attacking personnel and ensuring a way of playing that allows us to score more goals. We know that we need to add forward players to the group alongside the talent we already have. I would hope to add three forward players to the group before the start of the season.

    Without sounding daft, the nature of needing to make some changes means that you have to make changes to allow you to do just that!

    We made decisions at the end of the season that allow us to free finance up to invest in areas where we needed to strengthen the group overall. In the same way, with a smaller squad we needed to ensure we had players consistently available within those numbers. The playing budget needs to be sliced up to allow us to get exactly what we need. We can’t have everything and prioritising is really important for us.

    We are going to work with a smaller squad to allow us to get the most we can for our money. This means we are making recruitment decisions based around players’ availability and this also played a big part in some our retention decisions. With that in mind, we are really clear around our targets.

    It isn’t a blank canvas, it isn’t a reset and it isn’t a total restructure. We need to improve in key areas and we need to compliment what we already have at the club.

    You can see the profile of player we are recruiting already. We feel that adding players aged between 25-32 with games under their belt will ensure the group improves. We have identified our targets and the work is underway to secure them.

    It is a really unique time of year with so many aspects to it. The focus for us is securing the right players for us at the right time. It isn’t about chasing attention by announcing a flurry of signings. We have what we have to spend and we can only operate within that budget. We can’t spend what others in the division can but we can offer the opportunity to play at a massive football club in a really positive performance environment in front of some of the best supporters around. That is what sets us apart.

    Further down the line, I look forward to sharing the detail behind our new look pre-season programme with our supporters as we take a different approach for the season ahead.

    For now, I would like to place on record my genuine and sincere thanks for the incredible efforts from our supporters to the various initiatives around the club at present. Our ability to spend money on the football pitch is dictated by the sale of season tickets, the Boost the Budget campaign, CFU Membership and Matchday admission.

    The Boost the Budget campaign is really important and it’s vital that our supporters understand how we use the money. It isn’t a case of me being handed a recruitment kitty at the end of the campaign and off I pop to spend it, it is an ongoing process and the initial response from supporters will allow us to act positively in the coming weeks having made such an impressive start. We have a huge fanbase and increasing the amount of contributors to the campaign will be a huge part of its success.

    I don’t envisage much happening in terms of signings during the week ahead. Me and my Missus are going away for the first time since I took the job. We cancelled our holiday in 2022 as it was going to be such a busy period after taking over as Manager. She makes a lot of sacrifices because of what I choose to do for a living and I am really looking forward to spending some time with her away from Chester!

    That said, Football is 24/7 and I’m sure I’ll be making one or two calls at the side of the pool!

    I’m really clear on what I have to do as the Manager during the next 12 months and I will be operating differently during the season ahead.

    I feel as if we, as a club, have more clarity than we have had for a number of years in terms of what we need to do to achieve our aims. There is a plan in everything that we do and our recruitment is an enormous part of that.

    Our way of doing things isn’t necessarily the same as others, but I can assure our supporters we will be true to our plan and what we want to do.

    Thank you again for your continued unwavering support. All at the Club are immensely proud to represent you and are desperate to reward you.

    I really look forward to seeing you soon. Up the Seals.