Louis Hood (Goalkeeper, youth); Lukas Jensen (Goalkeeper, Burnley, Season-long loan); Connor O’Brien (Defender, youth); Ryan Astley (Defender, Everton, Season-long loan); Mo Sangare (Midfielder, Newcastle United); Shaun Whalley (Midfielder, Shrewsbury Town); Matthew Lowe (Attacker, Brackley Town)
Ross Sykes (r) (Defender, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise); Stephen Sama (Defender, released); Yeboah Amankwah (r) (Defender, Manchester City, Loan ended); John O’Sullivan (sp) (Midfielder, Bohemians); Marcel Lewis (Midfielder, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, Loan ended); Matt Butcher (r) (Midfielder, Plymouth Argyle); Colby Bishop (k) (Attacker, Portsmouth); Joel Mumbongo (Attacker, Burnley, Loan ended); Lewis Mansell (Attacker, released)
Keeping hold of his best players has always been one of manager John Coleman’s greatest challenges, especially during the close season and this summer has been no different.
The man in demand has been striker and last season’s leading goalscorer Colby Bishop, and his half-a-million pound move to Portsmouth is likely be significant in the fortunes of the Reds this season.
He is most notable of a trio of departures, with the other two expected. Midfielder Matt Butcher has joined League One rivals Plymouth Argyle after rejecting a new deal whilst centre-back Ross Sykes has opted for a move to Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.
Coleman will be pleased to have tied down promising midfielders Liam Coyle and Tommy Leigh on improved longer terms deals whilst their most creative outlet Sean McConville has extended his stay for another two years.
The new arrivals are all young players with potential, with perhaps striker Matt Lowe the most exciting of those after a stellar season with National League North side Brackley Town. The one signing with EFL pedigree is midfielder Shaun Whalley, who returns after a successful spell with Shrewsbury Town.
Owner Andy Holt has ensured the club are now financially stable whilst Coleman has established them in League One and it has given them the platform to challenge much bigger clubs. Coleman will be hoping to use some of money received for Bishop to find a replacement, otherwise their aims with be comparatively modest this season.
Mid-table. Without Bishop leading the attack the best they can hope for is another comfortable season in the middle of the pack.