Derek Adams has been hard at work assembling his squad for the rigours of Sky Bet League Two.
In the goalkeeping department, there was a welcome return to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium for Adam Smith, as the 'keeper signed a new one-year-deal. He is joined by former Blackpool stopper Stuart Moore, who has impressed since his arrival from Bloomfield Road. Both Adam and Stuart will compete for the number one jersey throughout the 2023/24 season.
Having retained Donald Love, Jacob Bedeau, Farrend Rawson and Max Melbourne, there is a feeling of experience around defensive third with all four having shown the quality they can bring to the club across the 2022/23 season. With Farrend and Donald being named Club Captains, the clear leadership and importance of those entering their second season here is clear for all to see.
The defensive unit has been strengthened by two further arrivals to-date. Chris Stokes, who has spent the last two years at Kilmarnock FC, was part of their promotion to the Scottish Premiership. Chris will add further experience and knowledge to the group and has already shown his strengths during pre-season with over 376 professional appearances behind him in his career to date. Joel Senior arrived in Lancashire following a successful promotion with Carlisle United last season. During our five pre-season friendlies, the 24-year-old has shown a versatility to play in both full-back positions, a quality which will prove vital as we progress into the competitive season.
In midfield, there looks to be some real excitement for the new season. Yann Songo’o returns for his second spell at the club and the fifth time he has reunited with the Gaffer. The combative midfielder was a vital part of our last campaign in League Two which ultimately ended with promotion at Wembley. He is joined in midfield by Jake Taylor, who is entering his second season at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium. Taylor played a big part in our late fight against relegation last term and will want to kick on again this season after some tough injury battles.
Joining the battle for midfield places are Jacob Davenport, JJ McKiernan and Eli King. Davenport, a former graduate of the Manchester City academy, is very confident in possession of the ball from what we've seen so far and was also part of a Stockport side that came close to promotion last term. JJ joins following his departure from Watford FC’s academy. A more advanced, progressive midfielder, JJ will look to support the forward players and be a link to key attacking phases. Eli King joins on loan from Cardiff City and has already represented the Bluebirds in the second tier. Having spent time with Crewe Alexandra last season, King is well aware of the challenges in League Two and will be an important part of our midfield unit.
Adam Mayor continues to develop and progress with each passing week. After making a big impact in his breakthrough season last term, Mayor will be hoping he can further push to start regularly and more consistently produce goals and assists. Mayor is joined in the final third by former Aberdeen attacker Cammy Smith, who arrives at the Club after two seasons at Partick Thistle. Smith has a proven track record across the game and makes his first steps in to English football with a strong number of games under his belt.
One of the most anticipated signings of this summer, Charlie Brown, was linked with the Shrimps very early on in the window. The former Cheltenham Town forward will be looking to challenge other players in a very competitive area of the park. Across the pre-season schedule, Brown has shown some fast feet and good movement which will encourage us all going into the new campaign.
Michael Mellon has returned to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium on loan from Burnley. Mellon’s time under Derek Adams last season was cut short following injury, so the forward will be looking for a more fruitful time with The Shrimps this time round. The youngster isn’t the only familiar face in the attacking area of the pitch as Jordan Slew marks a comeback to Morecambe. The striker signs for Adams for the fourth time after two years at Halifax Town and will add key experience in a number of positions across the forward line.
Finally, Tom Bloxham has joined from Shrewsbury Town on a season-long loan. The striker has already showcased key attributes, such as finishing and the heart for a battle in pre-season as he gears up for the season ahead. The 6ft 5 forward has the opportunity to gain vital game time at Morecambe and will look to use his time here to gain game time and score goals.