“The footballing world knows something exciting is going to happen at Fleetwood Town” – so says chairman Andy Pilley, who believes the Joey Barton effect has had a positive impact on their transfer window plans.
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Pre-season training under new head coach Barton began this week and Pilley says more players are interested in being part of this new era at Highbury.
Barton has dipped his toe into the transfer market this week by signing centre-half Craig Morgan on a free transfer from Wigan and midfielder Jason Holt on a season-long loan from Rangers.
Those two join left-back Eddie Clarke (above), 19, who arrived from Tranmere before Barton’s reign officially began.
The club currently has Tranmere midfielder James Wallace on trial and more players are expected to be added to the squad before the new season commences on August 4.
Pilley says that Barton’s star attraction has resulted in approaches from parties they would have struggled to interest in the past.
The chairman said: “The phone has been ringing an awful lot.
“We have had contact directly from agents and players we do not believe would normally be on our radar.
“The perception out there is that Fleetwood is a very good place to be because something very exciting is going to happen.
“We know that there are players we would struggle to recruit who now fancy joining our club next season.”
Fleetwood have changed their approach to transfer dealing in the last six months, with Toumani Diagouraga and striker Paddy Madden joining in January to add experience to a side that was League One’s second-youngest at the start of last season.
Now Town have swooped for experience again by snapping up the 33-year-old Morgan.
Pilley explained it is a balancing act as Town look to get the right blend to challenge at the top end after a season in which they battled relegation.
He said of Town’s recruitment policy: “I think it is just the best players, regardless of age. It is always good to have one or two rising stars in your ranks but I don’t think we want to go to either extreme.
“I don’t think we want to be a team of players on the decline or a really young or inexperienced team. I just think you need that blend.”
Pilley and Barton were due to address around 200 fans at a special forum at Highbury last night.