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Neal on rebuilding his squad

31 May 2013

Dons boss talks about his summer transfer plans

Neal Ardley believes his summer transfer plans are progressing well as he aims to create a quality squad of 20 players for 2013/14.

Wimbledon landed two of their key targets with Chris Arthur and Barry Fuller having joined this week, but Neal says his management team have done a lot of groundwork to improve the squad further this summer.

“We hope that there will be a lot more signings ahead of the pre-season friendlies,” Neal said. “We have done a lot of groundwork in meeting and speaking with players, which we are hoping to progress. I will be having a well-earned break with my family, but we will pick up the mantle after doing the initial side of things.

“We are not going to get all of our targets, but it is so far, so good, for us. I am really pleased with it so far. Chris and Barry were priorities because they are good players. Chris was an unknown quantity and we have kept our eye on him for a while. As soon as we knew that Barry would become available we acted quickly because we know that he will fit right into what we want. These players will fit into the dynamics of what we are trying to do for next season.”

Neal also explained the thinking behind having a smaller squad of 20 players for the start of next season.

“We are trying to work off a total of 20 players,” he added. “That is trim, but we are going for quality and we have to try and back our methods of training so that we are not over-training the players. We have to keep them free from soft tissue injuries so we will do our best on that. We go into a lot of science on those kinds of things.

“We have got our budget and we know what players in various positions will command. It is down to me to try and get the players in that fit within the structure that we are aiming to create. We know what type of players we want to make the team function the way we want it to. Hopefully, it will come together. It is not an exact science and it is something that needs to be worked on. It will take a lot of patience and a lot of work at the start of the season, but we feel really good about it.”

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