Fleetwood Town have given two-year contracts to attacking midfielders Bobby Grant and Lyle Della-Verde – and both would love to feature in the first game of the League One season at home to Southend for different reasons.
For 20-year-old Della-Verde, it would be a chance to make his Football League debut against the club which snapped him up from Sunday football as a 14-year-old.
The more experienced Grant, meanwhile, hopes to make a big impact in Town colours at the second attempt after his previous stint as a Fleetwood player lasted barely half an hour.
Blackpool loaned the 25-year-old to their Fylde coast neighbours in March last year but his season was ended by an injury on his debut against Wimbledon.
Released by the Seasiders after two years, the Liverpudlian made the last of his seven Pool appearances in December 2013 but has since enjoyed a successful promotion-winning season on loan with Micky Mellon’s Shrewsbury, scoring six goals in 37 games and winning the League Two Player of the Month award for March.
Della-Verde was also released this summer after spending the last four seasons with Fulham. He didn’t manage a senior appearance for the London club but did play seven games on loan with Bristol Rovers in the Conference late last year.
Having impressed on trial at Town’s training camp in Germany, Della-Verde said: “I’m really pleased to sign after two hards weeks.
“The lads are very welcoming and are nice people. Germany was hard but it was good to team-bond.
“It didn’t really work out for me at Fulham in terms of their first team but I’m really looking forward to the first game against Southend.
“I will work hard for the rest of pre-season to make sure I’m in for that first game.
“But I want to play in every game. I’m not here to be a squad player.”
As for Grant, who had scored 15 goals in 35 League games for Rochdale before joining Pool, Town manager Graham Alexander said: “We know Bobby well. We had him on loan and we have played against him as well.
“We know his qualities and we are really pleased to get him on board. We want to add goals to the team and Bobby will certainly provide that.
“He was unfortunate when we brought him in on loan. He hadn’t fully recovered from a previous injury and he broke down really quickly.
“He played a lot of games last season and we believe he has overcome the problem he had before. He has had a thorough medical and he impressed when he trained with us prior to the Germany trip.
“Both signings have great personalities. They want to prove on the pitch how good they are and show what they can do on the ball.”
Grant could feature in Saturday’s friendly at Kilmarnock.