Town deal is so close

Steven Gillespie Fleetwood town'Training in Austrial'by Derick Thomas
Steven Gillespie Fleetwood town'Training in Austrial'by Derick Thomas

Andy Pilley is confident of completing another signing for Fleetwood Town in the next 24 hours.

Chairman Pilley confirmed last night that the club’s seventh summer recruit is “incredibly close”.

He told The Gazette: “We had hoped to make an announcement last Friday but an individual delayed us. We are not quite there yet”.

Town have already recruited frontmen Steven Gillespie, Jon Parkin and Alex Titchiner ahead of the club’s first Football League campaign, but manager Micky Mellon has expressed the wish for more firepower.

And chairman Pilley continues to back his manager, confirming: “We are chasing several strikers”.

Besides the Peterborough frontman David Ball, another player strongly linked with Town in recent days is Preston’s transfer-listed midfielder Barry Nicholson.

Pilley would not dismiss either rumour, saying: “They are both good players, but we are always looking for players who will be assets to our squad. We’ll have to wait and see wht happens with the clubs concerned. It may be that we can acquire a couple more via on loan.”

Whatever develops in the coming days, Pilley is delighted with the club’s signings so far this summer, including former Northern Ireland midfielder Damien Johnson.

He added: “We have invested in tried and tested know-how and have signed players who will do an excellent job in the Football League.”

Among the new signings is the former Cheltenham and Colchester hotshot Steven Gillespie, who knows the competition for places in Town’s front line could be about to get even tougher.

The 27-year-old has a chance to make an early impression on manager Mellon at Town’s Austrian training camp, where the players had their first training session yesterday after an early morning flight.

Gillespie was impressed with the Alpine setting and with the start of their week-long getaway. He said: “It’s a lovely place and we got the balls out in the first session, which was enjoyable.

“There’s plenty of hard work but it’s the time of year for it. You are working hard for a purpose.

“We have good lads fighting for places up top and the competition is good for the team.”

The camp is also valuable in helping Gillespie get to know his new team-mates.

He added: “Fortunately, we have come away early and you get to know all the lads. Luckily there are a few schouse lads and I’ve got in the card school early doors!

“But to be together 24-7 is brilliant. You want to put in that bit more work to be fitter than the opposition, so you can dig deep and grind out results in the last ten minutes.”

Steven Gillespie was talking to DERICK THOMAS