DARREN Byfield revealed he is happy with his summer work so far as he continues to assemble an improved Redditch United squad.
The Reds slumped badly after Christmas and finished narrowly above the Southern League Premier Division drop zone – a situation the manager does not wish to see repeated.
United began their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw at Coleshill Town on Saturday in which trialist Jarrell Hylton – brother of former Reds star Jermaine – scored for the visitors.
They followed this up with Tuesday’s visit of Halesowen Town, but the match was abandoned goalless around the hour mark following a horrific injury to assistant referee Alan Buchanan who suffered a broken leg.
The 63-year-old Bromsgrove League official was clattered into as a Yeltz player challenged a Reds opponent and, with the injury both visibly and audibly sickening, an ambulance was called and the match abandoned.
Byfield said: “First and foremost this week, everyone at Redditch United sends their best wishes to Alan. Seeing anyone, let alone a 63-year-old official, suffer that serious an injury is always distressing and we all wish him as speedy a recovery as possible.”
Off the field, Byfield has been a busy man as he continues to work in the transfer market and look at trialists in both matches and training.
“I’m close, very hopeful, of bringing in a striker, left back and centre back in the coming days and all three will really improve our quality, said the boss.
“In this business I’ve learnt not to count my chickens until deals are over the line, but I am excited at the prospect.
“We need someone at left back having lost Jhai Dhillon to Chesham and overall we need some more experience in the ranks, which is something I’m addressing.
“I’m also determined to bring in players who will buy into my team spirit ethic because, I’ll be honest, that was lacking at times last season.
“So far though, it’s looking good. We’ve got proven quality at this level through the door in Jake Jones, Stuart McNaught and Danny Jackman and I’ve got former Highgate United players Orrin Pendley and Macauley Manning with us too.
“Up front, with one to join imminently I hope, I have Jamie Matthews, Dior Angus, Curvin Ellis and Danico Johnson on board, so I’m pleased with that too.
“The four main qualities I’m looking for are experience, pace, energy and strength and, with that mind, I’m happy with the options so far and where we are at.
“The two friendlies so far have been more about fitness, rather than shape, and it’s been a case of letting the lads play. In the next couple, shape and tactics will come much more sharply into focus.
“By this time next week I’d want the squad to be down from 24/25 to 18/19. I do believe it’s a good squad I am putting together.”
The Reds continue their pre-season campaign at Coventry United on Saturday before hosting Walsall Wood on Tuesday. Bromsgrove Sporting are the visitors a week on Saturday before Kidderminster Harriers visit the Trico Stadium in the Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday, July 18.