ANDY RITCHIE today set sights on making "three or four" summer signings for Town.
The Galpharm chief has drawn a blank since defender Frank Sinclair put pen to paper on a 12-month deal.
But Ritchie is determined to go into next season with a minimum of 23 players in the senior squad.
It means some tough negotiating has to pay off to bring in the quality of performer Ritchie believes can carry Town towards the Championship.
It also means he will be prepared to utilise the five first-year professionals who stepped up from the Academy this time to join Joe Skarz - striker Lucas Akins, midfielder James Berrett, keeper Simon Eastwood, midfielder Mitchell Bailey and winger Luke Malcher.
"I do want to add some pace and power to the squad and, ideally, we probably need 23 or 24 players to have a good mix for next season," said Ritchie, who was knocked back by Brentford striker Jo Kuffour.
"If you get too many players in it can bring its own problems in terms of players not getting enough games and possibly becoming a little bit unsettled.
"If you get too few, then you can quickly be in the mire if you suffer a few injuries, so it's a matter of achieving a happy medium and, for me, that's 23 or 24 players - so I need to bring in another three or four before pre-season."
Three of Ritchie's squad - Tom and Nathan Clarke and fellow defender Aaron Hardy, who has a six-month deal - have yet to play under the new boss.
They will get every opportunity to impress, however, as will the first-year pros.
"I'm very happy with the quality and calibre of the players coming up and it's great that Gerry Murphy is keeping that conveyor belt of talent running," said Ritchie. "Lucas Akins has already come on and done well in a couple of games, as has James Berrett, and these are the type of players you want to encourage to come through and do a job for the club at senior level."
Town are taking 14 scholars into the first year of the Academy.
A dozen have come through the club's age-group sides while Leigh Franks, a defender, is joining from Bridlington Town and Oliver Templeton (striker) is starting again after missing a year through injury.
Others joining are:
Danny Barlow (striker), Stephen Brook (left back), Lewis Collinson (midfield), Luke Durham (right wing), Spencer Harris (centre-back) and David Heagney (striker), Jack Hunt (right-back), Lewis Nightingale (midfield), Chris Pert (striker), David Pickering (defender), Liam Ridehalgh (left back) and Luke Williams (midfield).
Second-year scholars are:
Dan Broadbent, Dan Codman, Tom Jackson, Shane Killock, Curtis Roberts, Alex Smithies.