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Histon manager Lance Key enjoying a less hectic summer in pursuit of new players

The summer months can be the busiest of times for non-league managers. While there might not be the highs and lows of a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening, the phone never tends to stop ringing as each boss goes shopping in the same pool of players.

Lance Key knows that feeling all too well having had to contend with plenty of squad upheaval during his Histon tenure.

However, this off-season has been much more of a low-key affair at Bridge Road – much to the delight of the Stutes manager.

Lance Key is not plotting wholesale changes this summer
Lance Key is not plotting wholesale changes this summer

Key has retained a large majority of the squad that finished the previous campaign in such strong fashion and consequently the need to chase fresh faces is not as urgent as pre-seasons gone by.

Instead of looking for six, seven or even eight new additions, the hope is that only two or three are required for Histon to be an even bigger force in the Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South next term.

Key said: “It’s been quite nice (to not have to be so busy). When you need so many players, you find that all of the teams are fighting for the same players and it becomes a really big chore.

“Money talks and we don’t pay big so we have to sell the club to people and the places we’re looking to go. It’s better to have to do that to two or three players instead of eight.

“When we were successful three or four years ago we had a settled squad and we retained the majority of the players each summer. That’s how we wanted to go about it this summer and we’ve managed to do that.

“It felt like we really settled down after Christmas and found our feet in the league.

“We gave some teams a fright and won plenty of games so we’re very pleased to have the majority of the squad back for next season.”

Having secured the returns of familiar faces Ed Rolph and Danny Gould, Key is clear on what else he is looking to add.

The departure of Harry Meats due to university commitments has opened up a midfield berth, while a versatile player capable of filling a handful of positions is also on the wishlist.

Key added: “Harry is a big loss to us and we’ll need to fill that gap. We have three or four that can do a very good job in midfield but we’d like someone in there that can score goals.

“We’ve got someone in mind and hopefully we’ll be able to make that happen soon.

“We’re also keen to get someone that can play centre-half, right-back and holding midifeld. There’s a few players out there that can provide that versatility and hopefully we can add that.

“The squad is looking sharp in training and if we can add two or three we’ll be ready for the season.”

Histon will begin their pre-season friendly schedule on Tuesday (July 11) away at fellow Step 5 outfit Mildenhall Town.

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