TUNCAY Korkmaz reckons that Deeping Rangers can finish in the top six of the UCL Premier Division next season – if he gets his transfer dealings spot on.
The Turkish tactician is yet to secure the signatures of any new arrivals, but admits that he could have “significant news” to break come the end of this week.
Despite seeing former club and new league rivals Spalding United announce a five-man coup last week, Korkmaz isn’t too worried about the state of affairs at Outgang Road.
He said: “To be honest we’ve got nothing to announce just yet. You can’t officially sign any players at the moment, but we’ve spoken to quite a few. It’d be premature to name any names just yet.
“The aim for next season will be to break into the top six. Whether we can do that or not depends on what I can do in the market.
“Will we overspend to achieve? No. But I’m confident that I can get a strong enough team together to challenge at the top end.”
“I’ve had success here in the past, so hopefully that’ll continue.”
Major changes are expected at Deeping this summer, with Korkmaz starting his first full season back at the club.
Having replaced Pat Rayment midway through last season, he guided the 2007 champions to a modest 14th place.
The player/boss admits that his side were some way short of where they expected to be last time out, but insisted there were positives to come from the campaign.
One of those bonuses was midfielder Matt Heron, who picked up a players’ player of the year and fans player of the year double in his first season with Deeping.
The emergence of Craig Norman, Dave Wood, Jacob Smitheringale and Mark Jones also buoyed Korkmaz, who hopes to hang on to the majority of his squad.
However, top scorer Liam Harrold has already confirmed his intention to sign for Spalding.
Although the striker scored 21 league goals for Rangers last year, Korkmaz isn’t too worried by his departure.
He added: “We made Liam a good offer to stay, but I think Spalding went higher.
“He was in a team that finished 14th last year, so I wasn’t prepared to match the figures being bandied about. We’ve got a decent budget, but won’t pay over the odds.”
Along with double award winner Heron, Michael Stevenson and Smitheringale also picked up awards at Rangers’ end of season presentation night.
“Stevo” was named manager’s player of the year, while Smitheringale picked up the young player of the season gong.
Loyal press officer Andrew Bowell was named clubman of the year, while Sam Bush (manager’s player), Chris Watkins (players’ player) and Ben Leisner (most improved) took the U/18 awards.
Deeping return to pre-season training on July 2, with Korkmaz hoping to arrange six friendly fixtures before the start of the new season.