Summer deals bring smiles to St Albans City manager Ian Allinson
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Ian Allinson is delighted to have retained not only retained the majority of last season's squad at St Albans City but also added two exciting newcomers.
Defender Callum Adebiyi has come in from Kings Langley while Liam Sole needs no introduction to Saints fans after playing 16 games on loan in the 2018-19 season.
On top of that Allinson can call on 12 of last year's squad with a number of others, still in talks with the National League South club.
The Saints boss said: "I’m really pleased. It’s the majority of last season’s squad.
"We’ve still got negotiations still going on with two or three players but it is the same in most pre-seasons. There will be an agent involved and they will be telling the players they can move them onto bigger and better and in the end, they will end up back with us or they will get the move they want.
"But at the moment because the National League hasn’t finished it seems to be dragging on.
"When you have the sort of season we had last year, your players are going to be noticed. All the players last year did tremendously well and all could have moved at the end of the season.
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"We moved quickly to get the signings over the line quite quickly which benefits us."
He admitted that there will come a point during the summer where he will have to look at more new signings, especially if the players yet to ink a deal drag their heels further, but the two he has already acquired and two that have been on his radar for a number of years.
Allinson said: "Callum is a good signing, he can play left-side or centre-half.
"We spoke about him when we were in relegation trouble two seasons ago and were looking [to boost us] defensively.
"Chris Winton and Steve Conroy had both managed him and spoke very highly about him.
"We went in for him but he turned us down and he turned us down for the fact Kings Langley were looking to win promotion.
"We were in a relegation battle so it was probably the right time for him to stay.
"But we got wind at the end of this season that there was a couple of clubs looking to take him so we moved quite quick on it.
"The decision from him to join us was very quick this time. That’s very pleasing.
"And I’ve still been monitoring young Liam since his time with us.
"I felt he might drift back into non-league when he left Milton Keynes but I was really pleased for the boy that he got the move to Nottingham Forest.
"That helped him but he has come back to us now and I feel he is ready to play at this level now but he is also still young enough to go back into the Football League.
"For me he’s a young exciting prospect."
The latest of the players from last year to re-sign is Romeo Akinola. The young forward arrived 12 months ago from Haringey Borough and after a difficult season at times, Allinson believes he is finally developing into the player he thought he was.
"Towards the end of the season we were starting to see Romeo Akinola develop," said the boss. "It was a long period to show us what he had but he had an injury at the start of the season, and then he got an injury half-way through.
"That took a toll.
"It’s only that midfield area where if we don’t get it right, we might have to look for someone else.
"Defensively we’re fine and forward-wise I’m really excited about us.
"If we get the midfield right we can do as well as last year."