Wilkes wants more despite improvement

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Padiham boss Steve Wilkes is looking to strengthen his squad over the summer following a turbulent season at the Arbories.

The Storks finished seventh in the Hallmark Security Premier Division when Mark Coyne’s double saw them sign off with a 2-0 win over Barnton on home soil.

The club showed significant improvement on last term, being four places and 12 points better off, but Wilkes still reflected on the campaign with disappointment.

“I’m disappointed to have finished seventh,” he said. “Our season has effectively been split in to thirds. We started okay but then lost seven games on the bounce.

“We recruited, made the squad a bit stronger and then won 16 games from 18 but we were never going to win the league at that point.

“I spoke to James Dean and he said that he’d never been in a position where there wasn’t anything to play for with 12 games left. That’s what happens in this division with only one team going up.

“We won five out of our last seven which is good but overall it’s been a pretty turbulent season for the club both on and off the pitch.

“I would rate it a 6/10 but we’ve improved on last year which is something that you’re always looking to do.”

Wilkes is already drafting the blueprints for next term as he bids to architect Padiham’s way back towards the top end of the table.

“Plans for next season have already started,” said Wilkes. “I’ve spoken to three players this weekend and I’m hopeful of getting them in. It doesn’t stop for us.

“We need to improve. There certainly won’t be any street parties for finishing seventh because we’re still six away from the top.

“That’s where we want to be. We’ve got to recruit in the summer. I’m looking to bring in at least six to eight players.”