Boss Paul Simpson will announce his squad for Shrewsbury Town’s pre-season training camp in Spain later today – but insists the players left at home will not be not ruled out of his future plans.
Simpson expects to leave behind “four or five players” from his 25-strong first team squad when they fly out this weekend for the camp in Almeria, which will run until Thursday.
“There hasn’t been anyone who’s let himself down and they’ve all worked very hard but this is the nature of football,” said Simpson.
“The ones left behind are going to realise they’re down the pecking order, but if they’re still here and I need to use them then I will.”
Simpson has been “delighted” by the work ethic of all his players since they resumed pre-season training.
Striker Richard Walker, the man who ended Town’s promotion hopes with two quality goals for Bristol Rovers at Wembley in the play-off final 14 months ago, became the latest addition when he arrived on a season-long loan.
But Simpson insisted it’s not set in stone that Walker will automatically form a new-look strike partnership with record £170,000 capture Grant Holt.
“Other players come into the equation,” he said. “Michael Symes has done well in pre-season and Dave Hibbert has come back looking very strong so it’s not cut and dried.”
One striker who won’t feature in Simpson’s immediate plans is James Constable, allowed to join Blue Square Premier Division Oxford United on loan for the season earlier this week.
Constable made the perfect start for his new club, scoring the only goal of the game in their 1-0 friendly win at neighbours Oxford City just hours after signing.
“It should suit James and hopefully ourselves in the long term,” said Simpson, who revealed there is no recall option in either of the Walker or Constable deals. “I just felt it would be good for his development to play regular first team football.”
The future of striker Guy Madjo, who returned from a brief trial spell with Dutch club Go Ahead Eagles earlier this week, remains unclear. But the fact that Simpson allowed him to try and secure a move elsewhere suggests the manager is open to offers for the player.
Simpson is now looking forward to heading off to Spain for a few days and said the players can expect plenty of hard work.
“We’ll be having three sessions a day and it’s a good opportunity to get everyone together and get some intense work in,” he added.
l Town’s Away Travel Club are running a coach to the opening pre-season friendly at Stafford Rangers on Saturday, July 19. It picks up at Wem at 12.30, Shrewsbury at 1pm and Telford at 1.20. Bookings to Chris Smith on (01952) 604742.
l Town have been made 8-1 joint favourites with Bradford City to land the League Two title by Centrebet.
l Former Town midfielder Jimmy Ryan is on trial with League Two rivals Accrington Stanley.