JOHN Coleman has now made two new signings - and expects to make four more in the next few weeks as Accrington Stanley prepare for their full-time assault on the Conference next season.
Hot on the heels of signing striker Lee McEvilly, the Reds boss has snapped up defender Stuart Howson, as predicted in the Observer last week. And he could add another midfielder to his tally this week - thought to be Sheffield United's Steve Jagielka, who has not been offered a new contract with the Blades.
"Stuart has a good pedigree," Coleman said of left-sided defender Howson, who started his career at Blackburn Rovers before moving onto Chesterfield.
"He has been brought up at Blackburn and played plenty of games for Chesterfield. There were a number of league clubs chasing him but he came to us. He is keen to do well."
The 22-year-old has played over 50 games for the Spirietes but a broken ankle led to him making just 10 appearances last season. He has signed a one-year contract at the Interlink.
Meanwhile Coleman still has his sights on signing more players in the next two weeks before he takes a well-earned break.
"We need another four players at least. We need to sign a centre half, we need a goalkeeper and maybe a forward and a winger. We will need a squad of 21-22 next season so I will keep looking and want to get it sorted out as soon as possible."
He is still in talks with goalkeeper Jon Kennedy about a new deal although he does expect former Burnley trainee goalie James Salisbury - now at Wigan - to spend a year on loan at the Interlink next season.
"I hope he will come," said the Reds chief.
And Stanley have also been linked with goalie Craig Dootson - who did sign last summer from Stalybridge but the keeper had to pull out because of work commitments - and a Conference shot-stopper.
Radcliffe's keeper Danny Hurst - a possible Stanley target - was expected to sign a new contract at Stainton Park. Meanwhile, Coleman has said he has spoken to left back Steve Hollis but needs further talks with him.
- THE Conference fixtures are out on Thursday, 24 June.