January is fast approaching and Wanderers will once again enter it with only small change to spare. Although the team have been brilliant this year, mid-season recruits are always important. Why? Other teams will recruit and we have to keep pace with them. It injects fresh competition for places and we are by no means a finished squad.
So where do we go besides the loan market for players? Non-league. We have had success in this area in the past, having signed Kaiyne Woolery from Tamworth for £30,000 2 years ago. Although he only made a few appearances for us we sold him on to Wigan Athletic for circa £200,000, making a tidy £170,000 profit. While that isn't why I want to be signing players it is undoubtedly the way we need to look at potential recruits these days.
There are gems to be found down there, in recent years Jamie Vardy and Michail Antonio have gone from non-league to the England squad (plus a Ballon 'dor nomination for Vardy).
Below is a list of candidates I've looked at and perhaps have the potential to make the jump up the leagues.
Akwasi Asante - 24
The former Birmingham City man was highly thought of around the club. He was labelled as a 'tremendous talent' and 'one of the hottest prospects in English football'. He can be seen besting Nathan Redmond in a very old skill skool on Soccer AM. Injuries blighted his time however and after being released whilst still injured, he had a brief and unsuccessful time with Shrewsbury before moving to his current club Solihull Moors. Here he has matured and is appearing to be showing something that was seen at him at Birmingham. He is an athletic striker and seems to have overcome his injury issues. 17 goals in 39 last year and 11 goals in 16 games is a very impressive tally and shows he is ready for a step up.
Kieffer Moore - 24
The giant from my neck of the woods came from the hotbed of football that is Cornwall. He started off at non-league Truro city getting 13 goals in 22 as a teenager. He was noticed by semi-close Yeovil who signed him for their ill fated Championship adventure. Here he managed 4 in 20 appearances. This might sound bad but when you consider he was young, straight out of non-league and in a very poorly performing team it becomes a sign of potential. The fact he can get goals in the division above is a good sign. He currently plays for Torquay United where he has got 5 goals in 4 games (he is on loan hence the low appearances). At 6ft 5 he would offer us a real focal point up front.
Omar Bogle - 23
Okay fair enough he isn't non-league, but I had to include him. Signed from the aforementioned Solihull Moors after an amazing 62 goals in 111 games, he has absolutely torn up League 2 this year. He boasts 13 goals in 17 games and possess lightning quick pace. Descirbed as:
"being able to dribble, hold the ball up, scores headers, ambidextrous he has the ability to score with his right foot, as well as his left foot".
His stock is quickly rising and if we could find the funds for him, it'd be mad to not add the player that has what our strike force is missing. News that I have just seen states that Barnet have made a 'huge' offer of £250,000 for the striker. While that is probably beyond our reach now, if we were to come in to some money between now and January by means of investment or players sales, he must be high up the wanted list.
Danny Rowe - 26
This guy I was rather shocked to find whilst researching that we have already been linked with but no one knew. He is a another striker in absolutely lethal form this year. He currently has 27 goals already this season! With a goal, on average, every 59 minutes of game time. This isn't a one off with 24 and 27 goals in each of his last seasons. Not much information is available on him but we have reportedly sent people to watch him in the not too distant past. Yes it is a big jump from AFC Fydle to Bolton Wanderers, but his record speaks volumes. A really good goalscorer.
Luke Coulson - 22
This man is considered hot property right now with reportedly many Championship and League 1 teams looking at him. This includes Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He is a versatile and pacey right winger who spent some of his youth years at Manchester City. Currently playing for Eastleigh, his current chairman joked it would take upwards of £1,000,000 to sign him. He scored 6 goals in 4 games earlier this season and couples that with being very good at the defensive side of the game. A lot of buzz around this one.
Zack Kotwica - 20
Another one that clubs are already looking at with Gloucester's manager confirming he's already spoken to two Championship clubs about the winger. He (as of the 10th of November) had 10 goals and 11 assists to his name. He is labelled as extremely tricky and has really bounced back after his release by Cheltenham Town who are no doubt kicking themselves.
Simeon Akinola - 24
Picked by SkySports as one of the non-league players to watch, he was described as
"Simeon has Championship pace and agility, he's unbelievably quick and doesn't give defenders a moment of rest,"
"He can change a game in a minute and one of his best strengths is he's a great counter-attacking player, who can sit on the shoulder of the last defender but he can also play wide.
"He loves cutting in from the left onto his right foot. He's intelligent off the pitch as well and has got a first class degree in economics."
He is perhpas more 'getable' than the last two mentioned wingers with only Lincoln having reported interest so far. He has 4 goals to his name in a struggling Braintree side this year. Certainly worth a look given his previous praise.
Gozie Ugwu - 23
My personal favourite from this list. Gozie is a strong, tall and fast striker. These types of players always cause issues regardless of on the ball talent. The thing is he has this too. Currently at Woking having started his career at Reading, he has 11 goals in 20 this year. He's 6ft 1 1⁄2 but also quick. His current manager has said the only reason for his past statistics not looking as good as they currently do is because of many being bench appearances and injuries. He finally has a constant rhythm and appears to be over his injry problems. We could do a whole lot worse than taking a punt on this guy, he has something about him.