No panic or worry for St Albans City just yet despite tough player negotiations
- Credit: Archant
Ian Allinson is not unduly worried or panicking despite St Albans City’s comparatively slow start to their summer rebuilding.
Only winger Khale Da Costa has arrived while Tom Gardiner, Layne Eadie and Charlie Walker have all departed for pastures new.
Financial constraints are playing their part in the recruitment process, as is the ongoing problems and uncertainty surrounding the new ground.
But the Saints boss is still confident of improving the squad which just missed out on the Vanarama National League South play-offs last year.
He said: “We are going with the same budget as last year which is fair enough as the owners have a responsibility first and foremost to their families.
“The problems with the new ground has set everybody back.
“There are players out there who we would love to sign and who would love to come to the club but we can’t afford them.
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“We only need three or four but it has to be the right players for the right price.
“It’s difficult to compete financially with some of the clubs in this league and with two or three players we weren’t in the ball park.
“Their demands were very high but it’s the way the market is.
“I’m talking to Isthmian and Southern League players and even their demands are too much.”
The majority of last year’s squad has returned, which he revealed included the likes of David Noble, Sam Merson and Harold Joseph joining the already-announced Dean Snedker, Tom Bender, Ben Herd, Zane Banton and Percy Kiangebeni.
Rhys Murrell-Williamson is one who has not yet re-signed and St Albans face competition from a former league club to keep him at Clarence Park.
Allinson said: “We’ve made him an offer and we would love him to stay but Barnet are interested and this may be his big chance to go professional.
“But it’s because of what he did with us last year that he’s getting these opportunities.”
Shaun Lucien hasn’t been offered a new deal yet but has been invited back for pre-season and Allinson is hopefully of more contract news later in the week.
Loan deals may be a way round the money issue but after getting his fingers burned a few season ago, he is only looking for long-term loan deals.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about and something I’m going to have to look at,” he admitted.
“But if we cannot get a long-term loan where we can use them in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, we run the risk of losing them after three months on 24 hours notice.”
Pre-season friendlies could also be a way of boosting the budget, with league clubs Northampton Town, Stevenage and Luton Town all heading to St Albans along with well-supported Leyton Orient.
And Allinson is excited about getting back on the training field with his new assistant manager, Glen Alzapiedi.
The Saints boss said: “[Glen’s] been in the league quite a while and I’ve always enjoyed playing his teams.
“I’ve also known him from his time at Harlow and Ware and he always seems to mange things well
“I approached him shortly after the end of the season and he accepted quite quickly.
“We’ve had four or five conversations since that have been really encouraging. We share the same beliefs and I’m looking forward to the start of pre-season.”