Needham Market assistant manager Richard Wilkins has revealed that the club is on the hunt for a new striker, writes Liam Apicella.
Last term, only two sides scored less goals in the Ryman League Premier Division than the Marketmen, who found the back of the net 51 times.
Michael Brothers top-scored with 15 goals in all competitions, while Needham’s second and third highest goalscorers — Sam Newson and Adam Mills — had both departed the club for Maldon & Tiptree by January.
Manager Mark Morsley has gone some way to addressing the problem by recruiting Emmanuel Osei from East Thurrock United, but Wilkins believes that additional firepower is still required.
“Mark mentioned when I joined that he felt we were lacking a few goals,” said the former Bury Town boss.
“A lot has been riding on Michael Brothers’ shoulders so we need to find him some help.
“We have spoken to a fair few players, but for one reason or another, they have slipped through the net.”
With a number of rival clubs in the area, the battle for signatures throughout pre-season has been fierce.
As a result, Wilkins has conceded that Needham may have to wait to get their man.
“With Bury, Sudbury, Lowestoft and Leiston all in and around our level, there is a lot of competition,” he added.
“We are all chasing the same players, which means there is some silly money being thrown around.
“It is important to be patient. I have been in the game long enough now to know that you may end up signing someone on the eve of the season.
“But, it is crucial we make sure we sign the right player, one that will improve us.”
As well as Osei, Needham have also signed winger Reece Dobson (Royston Town) and midfielder Luke Read (Brightlingsea Regent).
n Needham will begin their 2016-17 campaign at home to Burgess Hill Town on August 13.
There are a flurry of Suffolk derbies in the Ryman Premier Division this season, with Morsley’s men on the road to Lowestoft on August 16.
That is followed by Leiston (H, August 29), Lowestoft (H, October 11), Sudbury (H, December 26), Leiston (A, January 2) and Sudbury (A, April 17).
Their campaign will then conclude with a home clash against Billericay Town on April 22.
n Mildenhall Town manager Dean Greygoose has bolstered his ranks by signing Stephen Spriggs.
It will be the winger’s third stint at Recreation Way, having originally joined as a youth player in 2006 and then returned two seasons later under the management of Dave Pinkowski.
More recently, Spriggs was on the books of AFC Rushden & Diamonds, while he has also had spells with the likes of Sudbury and King’s Lynn.