Striker tops McIntosh’s list after Barraclough departs

Bradley Barraclough has opted to move closer to his Lincolnshire home and sign for Spalding United.
Bradley Barraclough has opted to move closer to his Lincolnshire home and sign for Spalding United.

Martin McIntosh says adding firepower to his Buxton squad is among the top priorities this summer.

Having seen top scorer Liam Hardy join Darlington in the latter stages of last season, it emerged last week that 17-goal Bradley Barraclough has now joined Spalding United.

And with another frontman in Ashley Worsfold also having left the Silverlands in recent weeks, finding replacements for the departures will be keeping McIntosh busy ahead of the new season.

He said: “I think you’re always looking out for new firepower anyway, in line with trying to improve the rest of the squad where possible, but clearly having lost players of the quality we have means it’ll be a tough job trying to replace them.

“We’ve already signed Lee Bennett who I think can really make things happen for us next year and Nicky Walker was one of the first players I wanted to retain as he made a real impact in the latter stages after joining from Clipstone.

“But you need strength in depth so hopefully we can add more in due course.”

Barraclough was a fans’ favourite at Buxton but being based in Lincoln meant he faced an arduous drive across the East Midlands to train and turn out for Buxton.

McIntosh added: “I completely understand Brad’s reasons for leaving.

“He had to drive for nearly two hours for every home game and away games were often difficult for him too, so his desire to be closer to his base near Lincoln was understandable and we wish him well.

“I’ve signed Brad twice now and I know Spalding have got themselves a very good player who will undoubtedly score goals in the division below us.”

McIntosh has already signed goalkeeper Jan Budtz from Gainsborough and Lee Bennett from Shaw Lane Aquaforce, but is now having to bide his time with regard to further additions and with many players considering their options.

He said: “It’s the same every year in that at this stage players are getting offers from all over the place and are keen to assess their options before committing.

“So we’ll have to be patient and it might well be that some players don’t sign until the latter stages of the summer, but that won’t concern me too much.

“I’m happy with how things are shaping up. We’ve had some good players agree to stay on like Ricky Ravenhill, Niall Doran and Greg Young and the signings made so far will give us great options.

“We’ve lost players like Barra, Worsfold and Alex Wiles but the latter two were only really featuring more in the second-half of the season and should be replaceable.”

Buxton’s pre-season schedule features eight matches, beginning on Saturday, July 2 against Darlington 1883, a fixture arranged as part of the Liam Hardy transfer in February.

Crewe Alexandra are set to bring a first team squad to the Silverlands on Friday, July 8, Macclesfield Town then arriving four days later to compete for the Keith Alexander Memorial Trophy.

FC Halifax Town come to the Silverlands on Tuesday, July 19 and then Burton Albion will be the visitors on Wednesday, July 27.

Chesterfield arrive the following Saturday before away games at Leek Town and Glossop North End round off the schedule.

McIntosh added: “I’m happy with the list of games and there are some good tests in there. We’ll have a chance to cast our eye over some trialists but there won’t bee too many - I would rather just look at players who have a genuine interest in being here as I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.”