Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy will turn his attentions to the loan market as he looks to put the finishing touches to his squad ahead of the Blues’ National League opener at Solihull Moors on August 5.
The Blues boss has enjoyed considerable success in the transfer market this summer and snared the majority of his major targets, adding players such as Ross Hannah, Kingsley James, Andy Halls and Paul Turnbull to his squad.
John McCombe, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Nyal Bell and Harry White have also arrived to considerably strengthen the squad while fan favourites such as Ryan Astles, Craig Mahon and Alex Lynch have all agreed to extend their stay with the club.
The sale of Sam Hughes to Leicester City has helped the Blues add real quality and McCarthy has opted to ensure he has a strong spine to the side, a decision that does leave Chester a little light on the ground in some areas.
Another versatile defender who can operate across the back four and a goalkeeper to mount a serious challenge to Lynch are at the top of McCarthy’s wish list and he is hopeful of utilising the loan market to secure targets ahead of the big kick-off a week on Saturday.
“There are bits of our squad that are going to be a little bit thinner and I think people understand that with our financial resources but I think people are happy with how we have gone about things and what we have assembled,” said McCarthy.
“There is a loan type market that we need to go and try and find the next little bit to strengthen. It isn’t as easy at this time of the season as all the under-23 players are coming back and are involved in their squads, but we are working very hard on that and we’ll see what we can get out of it before the season starts.”
Lynch sat out Chester's 2-1 pre-season defeat at home to League One side Walsall at the weekend after picking up a minor knock at Altrincham last week.
That allowed McCarthy to have a look at two trialist keepers, former Stevenage stopper Callum Preston and ex-Harrogate Town keeper Peter Crook, in the first half and second half respectively.
Preston saved a first-half penalty from Simeon Jackson while Crook, who impressed in the 2-0 win at Witton Albion on Thursday, played the whole of the second half.
This weekend’s visit of League Two side Port Vale to the Swansway Chester Stadium is McCarthy’s last chance to cast an eye over trialists and he is expected to welcome back Lynch into the fold in readiness for the trip to Solihull.
Said the Chester manager: “We have seen another two. There is other stuff going on and around and Dave Felgate (goalkeeping coach) is working very hard on that situation and we are very happy with Alex Lynch.
“After Alty he (Lynch) was feeling it so we brought him off a little bit early.
“It gave us an opportunity to look at another two, Peter Crook who played for us the other day and Callum (Preston) had come in so it gave us a chance to do that but it also gave us a chance to protect Alex and I think he’s back for next week (Port Vale).”