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Buckley: No Bosmans

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Buckley: No Bosmans Likely

News From 2nd July 2000

Alan Buckley

Town manager Alan Buckley is not looking to make any "Bosman" signings because the players on the list that are willing and able to make a move to Blundell Park and that the Mariners could afford would not, in Buckley's opinion, add anything to his present squad.

Buckley also reveals he is avoiding signing on people at present in order to avoid paying their wages during July and early August when no games are played.

Buckley explained the reasoning behind his views as follows in an interview in the GET:

"There's not really any Bosmans that want to come to Grimsby or that we can afford.
"The bulk of them like Steve Sedgley [Wolves] or Nicky Eaden [Barnsley] don't want to come here.
"They earn far more and have turned down far more at their present clubs than we could possibly offer them.
"They're looking for more than we've got.
"We're not in the market for that sort of player.We just can't compete wage-wise".

Buckley admits he is interested in Bolton's centre half, Greg Strong, but needs to sell a player before he can raise the money to get Strong, probably around £200K.

If Ashcroft is sold Buckley is looking for another centre back to cover for first choice pair of Richard Smith and Peter Handyside (essentially a direct swap for Mark Lever, himself a Bosman). His other target is possibly a midfielder, due to the contunied doubt over the fitness of Wayne Burnett. No mention is made as usual of any overseas names, and Town look like continuing to have an entirely British squad next season.

New faces at Blundell Park look like being few and far between this summer, with a net loss of players likely. At best Strong and a midfielder such as Hamilton will be joining the club.

Buckley's hands are tied to a very large extent by the funds made available to him by the board, but his reluctance to bring in cheap foreign players from abroard is in marked contast to the other 23 managers in the league, and ultimately may prove a big mistake.

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