So we now know the fixture list for our League 2 campaign and whilst it looks miserable to look at we need to approach the season with caution.
I have seen many tweets and posts on Facebook where supporters are growing increasingly worried about the lack of transfer activity however lets remember we are only on the 21st June, there are still forty-three days until the start of the new season!
If by mid July we find ourselves in the same position of having more coaches than players then yes press the panic button but right here right now I have full confidence in Darrell Clarke to put a squad together that is capable of competing at the right end of League 2.
At point of writing we currently have just ten players with first team experience – Liam Roberts, James Clarke, Cameron Norman, Dan Scarr, Kory Roberts, George Dobson, Stuart Sinclair, Andy Cook, Morgan Ferrier and Josh Gordon.
The foundations are there for a team capable of challenging in League 2 but reinforcements are needed.
Darrell Clarke has made 70% of his signings in the past four seasons between July 1st and July 10th – once the players return back on Monday then I would imagine we will start to see the transfers roll in.
Players and agents are still on holiday. They will start to land back into the UK this weekend ahead of pre-season and that’s when I expect Clarke’s phone to start ringing.
This is his first pre-season as Walsall boss. He will need to assess what the likes of Cockerill-Mollett, Alfie Bates and Mitch Candlin can bring to the table before wasting his very small budget on players that might not offer what those three can. Not to mention the invited youth players like Joe Slinn and Dan Vann.
8% of Clarkes signings were loans at the end of August, this is when I believe we will start to see the real squad forming for the new season.
Whilst talking about the end of August we need to be cautious and patient with the fixtures. Clarke and Rovers fans have openly admitted that his sides are normally slow off the ground – the fact in our first ten games we face the top seven in the betting for the title we need to remind ourselves this if we are languishing in mid-table or worse by the end of September.
I truly believe we will have a slow start but we will slowly rise towards the top around winter time.
Please be patient.