FLEETWOOD Town manager Micky Mellon confirmed that yesterday’s signing of free-scoring striker Richard Brodie is just the start of a busy summer of transfer activity at Highbury.
The 23-year-old scored 13 goals in 45 appearances for the non-league champions, having moved last August from York City, where the Tynesider netted 69 times in 165 games.
With such a strikerate, it’s hardly surprising Mellon was overjoyed at his capture. The Town boss said: “We are delighted to bring Richard aboard and no doubt he will make the squad stronger. We know we have to improve it to hopefully make that next step to stay competitive in a very difficult league, so this is a big statement of intent by the club.”
Brodie is believed to have joined Crawley for around £275,000 – a record fee between two non-league clubs – and is a hitman well known to Town.
He played for York in their 3-1 Highbury defeat last August, then turned out for his new club against Mellon’s men in the South-East six days later. Brodie scored Crawley’s winner in their 2-1 triumph at Town in March.
Mellon added: “He has great pedigree at our level and we know him very well. I’m sure he’ll enjoy his time here and be very successful for the club.
“He’s a player everyone will know well and one we admired for some time. He wants to score a lot of goals.”
It starts a summer of rebuilding after Town released ten players last week in their bid to improve on the considerable achievement of finishing fifth in their first season at non-league’s elite level.
“We have been very busy sorting the players we already have and we hope to get more on board,” Mellon continued.
“We did the work some time ago identifying targets we felt we needed to make us a better group. Now we will be going for players we think can keep us challenging at the top end of the table.”
Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “Richard is a fantastic signing for the club. His goalscoring ability speaks for itself and he will certainly complement our already strong squad.
“This is just the first work in preparation for what will be a very exciting season ahead.”
Crawley say Town paid a “substantial five-figure loan fee” to beat several rivals for a 6ft 3” player they refused to sell outright.
Manager Steve Evans, who suggested Brodie was homesick for the north of England, said: “Fleetwood Town are an ambitious club with a good manager. They also have an owner who is prepared to back his manager with some good investment.
“I have no doubt that Brodes will be a huge player for Fleetwood Town. He will score the goals that will lead them to challenge to be champions next season.”