Eastleigh boss Andy Hessenthaler may well stick with just four summer signings – unless one of his trialists persuades him otherwise.
The Spitfires are having to be more prudent with their budget following the departure of wealthy former owner/chairman Stewart Donald to Sunderland. And with many of their existing squad still under contract, summer arrivals won’t be spilling into double figures as they have for the past couple of seasons.
Four players have already penned deals – ex-Saint Oscar Gobern, full-back Josh Hare, centre-back Alex Wynter and defender/midfielder Joe Jones – and four more were handed a trial in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win over Reading.
It was an unusually early start to pre-season and, with time on his side, Hessenthaler is happy to take another look at Cameron Murray, Richard Gilot, Bayley Brown and Aziz Deen-Conteh when the Spitfires travel to Gosport Borough on Friday (July 6, 7.30pm).
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Hessenthaler said: “Things have changed with the chairman going to Sunderland and I was only going to sign three players. But, to be fair to the club, they’ve allowed me to bring in a fourth, Joey Jones.
“The bulk of the budget was taken up by existing players and I didn’t have much left in the budget for anyone else. The new signings we’ve got will probably be it. I’ve not identified anyone else.”
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