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Ebbsfleet United manager Danny Searle happy to play waiting game so he can get best possible recruits for places that remain in his squad

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle won’t be rushed into completing his squad before the start of the season.

The Fleet have signed five new faces and kept 13 of the squad that retained their National League status last season - with another new face due to be announced at a fans’ Q&A on Wednesday night.

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle has signed five players in the close season so far. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle has signed five players in the close season so far. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

Searle has already stated he wants to work with a smaller squad than the one he inherited when he took charge in February.

There’s still room to manoeuvre but the Fleet boss is happy to bide his time in order to get the best possible players at the club.

“We’re not desperate,” stated Searle, who will run his eye over a number of trialists against Punjab United tomorrow (Thursday).

“We don’t need anybody so now we’re in a fortunate position that we can go and get the ones that we want, as opposed to just panicking and thinking we need to get some bodies in.

“Obviously, we’ve got a few lads [on trial] that will feature on Thursday that have come in and done some training with us so we’ll have a good look at them.

“This is the time of the year when players start cropping up because, for whatever reason, the deals they wanted to get they didn’t get.

“We just have to be patient and recognise what we want to bring to the table for the start of the season and get in the right people that can fit that model.”

There’s been a shift in the market now with the clock starting to run down on players looking to get the best possible deal at the highest level they can.

Searle added: “There’s certain players that will crop up that you’ll be ‘he’s a no-brainer, we have to get that done’ and then there will be players that we think we like and we’re interested in but we don’t need to rush as someone else might crop up.

“I’d say it’s a buyers’ market at the minute. At the start we’re chasing agents, players or clubs about availability of certain individuals and now it’s the opposite.

“We’ve got a depth chart of probably eight to 10 players per position that are available if we wanted to go and get them. I understand they’re available to everybody as they’re getting to the stage where they need a job but in the same respect we’re not going to rush, there’s no need to rush.

“We need to make sure they’re coming here for the right reasons, they want to play for Ebbsfleet. They’ve seen what we’re trying to do, heard what we’re trying to plan for and want to be a part of that process.”

Ebbsfleet have already turned down some potential signings on the basis that they wouldn’t fit into Searle’s plans. He’ll stick to his guns as they count down to their season opener on August 10.

“It's about clarity and making sure we’re fully clear on the profile of player we want to bring in,” said the Fleet boss.

“We‘ve been offered some fantastic footballers but then you look at them and how they fit into the squad and a starting XI and it doesn’t fit. It’s square pegs in round holes.

“For us, that’s a mistake that can be made quite easily when you see someone’s name, you see their career and what they’ve done. But then you go this is the formation we’re playing, where does he fit? And he doesn’t fit.

“Suddenly you’ve got a player on your books who is too good to be sitting on the side of the pitch but you’re going to have to change a lot of stuff to get him into the game.

“You have to be clear on what you’re doing. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t every manager’s stance on things.”

It’s not just players that will be new at the club. The Fleet will also appoint a new first-team coach to replace Chris Solly, who departed to rejoin his former club Charlton recently, along with a goalkeeping coach.

“We’ve got a first-team coach and goalkeeping coach at the minute and they’re doing some work with us,” explained Searle.

“It’s one of those processes where we’re having a good look at them and they’re having a good look at us.

“Chris Solly was a big loss, obviously, but it was a great opportunity for him and he needed to explore that. As disappointed as we are, he knows he is fully welcome back here and he goes with our best wishes.

“We had to fill that space so we’ve got a couple of lads in at the minute who are doing some great work with us, the boys have brought into what they’re bringing to the table so in the next two or three weeks hopefully people will get an idea of what their roles will be with us long-term.”

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