St Albans looking at lower league players due to financial demands

James Comley captained St Albans City for the 44th time on Saturday. Picture: Bob Walkley

James Comley captained St Albans City for the 44th time on Saturday. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

St Albans City will have to look at bringing in players from lower leagues because the club can’t compete financially with their Conference South counterparts.

Following the departure of Ben Martin and Loick Pires, who had his contract terminated last week, the Saints have gaps in the squad. However, they may not be able to bring in experienced Conference South players due to their financial demands.

Speaking after Saturday’s loss to Bromley, joint manager James Gray said: “We have gaps in the squad for a centre-half, centre-forward and maybe a central midfielder, but it’s about identifying players and bringing them in. This league is crazy for money. I speak to players left, right and centre and the money they’re on, we can’t compete with, especially at this level.

“We’re going to have to look at lower leagues and look at younger, hungrier players who want to step up. There’s no point in bringing in players so we have a squad of 20 players; we’ve got lads in the youth team who can do that.

“There’s definitely gaps more players, though.”

While the idea of promoting lower-league players to the Conference South isn’t an overly appealing one, St Albans City have had success doing it in the past. David Keenleyside came from SSML Premier Division side London Colney while former Harpenden Town captain Danny Green earned a spot in the squad last year after impressing as a trialist.

In League Two, Stevenage have had great success in finding non-league talent, signing Tom Pett from Wealdstone after their promotion-winning campaign and Connor Calcutt from Berkhamsted.