Dennis Greene says he could resort to Plan B to complete his Boston United squad for the upcoming season.
The Pilgrims boss had hoped to lure fans’ favourite Danny Sleath and fellow midfielder Shane Clarke back to the Jakemans Stadium, as well as discussing a move with attacker Leon Mettam.
However, the trio all opted to join Conference North rivals Tamworth, who were recently relegated from non-league’s top tier.
Unperturbed, Greene is now turning his attention to United’s pre-season friendly fixtures against Premier League sides Sunderland and Aston Villa, as well as contests lined up against Championship outfits Nottingham Forest and Norwich City.
From those four big-name clubs, the manager believes he will be able to spot a handful of upcoming talents that he reckons could do a good job for the Pilgrims in the Conference North next season.
“Plan A was to bring those three in, but at the end of the day we couldn’t afford what they wanted and Tamworth could,” Greene said.
“So what we’ll do now is look at Plan B.
“It’s not a setback as such, it just means Tamworth have those players and we’ll look elsewhere.
“We’ve got some big friendlies coming up, and I’m sure that from Sunderland, Villa, Forest and Norwich we will be able to spot some very good players and try to bring them here.
“If anybody on the pitch impresses me, I’ll have a word with the club and see if I can bring them in.”
Greene says he is looking for three additions to his squad to replace midfielders Ian Ross and Ben Milnes and attacker Ben Fairclough, who all opted to move on this summer.
League rules state a club can field up to five loanees at any time in a match, although no more than two can be from one single club.
However, those rules do not include players young enough to be deemed on work experience.
Last season Greene’s links with Sunderland saw youngsters Liam Marrs, Liam Agnew and David Ferguson all link up with Boston, with all three putting in impressive shifts.
Although Greene says there are ‘no irons in the fire’ he is not ruling out adding any permanent signings to his squad.
The United boss says he has received letters from trialists hoping to link up with the club and impress in training and pre-season friendlies.
“I’m always looking to improve the team,” Greene added. “But I’m not rushing out to sign anyone just for the sake of it.”