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Part two: Andy Pilley on player recruitment and training ground

26 June 2015

The second of an exclusive two part interview with the chairman

In the second part of our exclusive extended interview with Andy Pilley, the Fleetwood Town chairman goes in-depth about player recruitment for the 2015/16 season.

So far this summer, the Cod Army have bolstered their ranks with a number of signings including Chesterfield midfielder Jimmy Ryan and Scotland U21 international striker Declan McManus.

And the Town chairman is adamant his side are not finished yet in the transfer market, and expects more quality players to link up with Graham Alexander’s side in the upcoming weeks.

He said: “I’m really pleased with the way the recruitment is going,” said Andy. “Declan (McManus) looks an outstanding prospect, Amari’I Bell is a player we’ve tracked and wanted to bring to the Club for a long time as we think he’s  got a really exciting future.

“Declan is going to score us goals, we’re confident of that, and we’d like to think we can turn him into a full international during his time at Fleetwood.

“Fellow striker Vamara Sanogo has come in as well, he’s another player who looked excellent when I saw him in development games, and I think a lot of people are going be pleasantly surprised by how good a player he is.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the signing of Jimmy Ryan. I sincerely believe that he is one of the very best midfielders in League One.

“I think it’s a statement of intent, as a lot of people have wrongly assumed because the focus is on value for money that we lack ambition. You don’t spent £6m on a training ground if you lack ambition.

“We’re as hungry as ever. We’re starving and we want to see this Club in the Championship eventually, and players like Jimmy Ryan will help us get there.

“He just does not give the ball away; his energy levels are exceptional, played nearly every game of the season and was hugely influential in Chesterfield getting to the Play-Offs.

“I thought he was their best player in both games as well, so I’m over the moon to have got him to Fleetwood Town.”

Pilley believes the Club’s new training ground will be a major factor in players’ decisions to team up with the Cod Army.

“I think what it shows is when we get the opportunity to get face to face with the player and show them a training ground that would not be out of place in the Premier League, we can then begin to sell them the dream.

“We can tell them what the plans and aspirations are. There’s lots of noise out there, but people don’t know what’s going on inside, people make their own assumptions which are very often not correct, and Graham has done a great
job with Jimmy.

“He’s convinced him that this has been the right thing to do, his advisor has been excellent as well and has explained that Fleetwood is the right move for him.

“I’m very excited about Jimmy Ryan coming to Fleetwood. I think he’ll be an excellent player for us and a really good addition.

“We expect to get some more real top quality in over the next couple of weeks. People are going to be pleasantly surprised by the quality that we bring in, and we will be a force to be reckoned with next season in League One.

“It’s amazing signing players of this quality, however I don’t think anybody realises, I mean that with the best respect to our supporters, how good this facility is going to be.

“It will wow people, it will be superb for the future of Fleetwood Town, and it will help us develop players and attract players.

“It will help us engage with the community and grow our fan-base. It is an amazing set up, it really, really is.

“When people see what the finished product is really like, I know they will be staggered because it is exceptional.”

Season tickets are still on sale for the 2015/16 League One campaign. For more information on season tickets, please call 01253 775080 now. The ticket office is open on Saturday’s from 9am-1pm.

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