It has been a hectic first pre-season in charge of Bradford Park Avenue for Head Coach Alex Meechan, but he isn’t quite done yet.

Over the weekend former defender Harry Coates became the Avenue’s ninth new signing of the summer.

Winger Johnny Gorman, capped nine times by Northern Ireland, and former Scarborough Athletic defender Shane Killock (pictured below right) are also amongst the new faces in Meechan’s reshaped squad.

And as friendly fixtures get into full swing former AFC Telford United and Barrow coach Meechan revealed that his work in the transfer market will continue throughout pre-season.

“We aren’t quite done yet.

“There is always more to come in, possibly another four or five will come into the squad BPA Gorman
and if or when they do I think we will be just about done.

“There are discussions ongoing with one or two right now and it depends on how they go in the coming days”

Meechan was appointed as permanent successor to former Avenue boss Darren Edmondson earlier this month, having been in the role of assistant to Edmondson in his time at the Horsfall Stadium.

Even before his permanent appointment Meechan was making plans for the new campaign.

Included in those plans was the appointment of former Tranmere Rovers defender Matt Hill (pictured below left) as a player-coach.

With the club’s first two pre-season fixtures out of the way Meechan revealed he was happy with how his new-look squad was reacting to his methods.

“It’s been a very busy summer. There was a bit of adversity at the end of last season and we had plenty of discussions but we are there now.

“We are looking positive and I am happy with the business we have done so far.

“The players are responding to pre-season, they have the attitude we need and we are looking forward to the new season”

BPA matt hillMeechan and the Avenue face a tough task if they are to improve on last season’s fourteenth placed finish in the Vanarama National League North.

The league is being seen as the toughest in a long time with the likes of Kidderminster Harriers, FC Halifax Town, Darlington and Salford City coming into the division.

In a league already boasting strength in depth the should be an intriguing season.

For Meechan there is only one thing to focus on and that is his own squad.

And although he conceded the division is stronger, he wants to make sure Avenue only focus on themselves.

“It’s a fantastic league and it is a good challenge for every club in there.

“There are some great clubs, some big clubs coming into the division but as always we will worry about our own ship.

“There will be good days, there will be bad, that’s the nature of football but we want to progress this season, we want to improve on and off the pitch and re-energise the football club”

He also brushed off any queries about positional targets for the season and insisted that his only target is making sure he can get the best out of his players.

“The targets are for me to do everything I can to help this team succeed.

“We have an idea of league positions within the dressing room but all I will say is we have a group of lads that have a desire to take this club forwards and win football matches.

“We just can’t wait to get going now”

Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Bradford Park Avenue /


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