WARRINGTON Town boss Paul Carden says his phone has not stopped ringing as he tries to assemble a squad for next season.

Carden is set to embark on his first full season in charge of Yellows after taking over in October of last year and steering them to a 10th-placed finish in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

The Town boss has previously stated that he is aiming to push for the title next season and says getting players in to achieve that means he has not had much of a break.

“It’s been pretty non-stop. I don’t think my phone has stopped ringing since the season ended,” he said.

“We’re trying to get players in and I’ve had plenty of conversations already with players about coming to play for us.

“I’ve been talking to our original players as well and have made decisions on whether I’d like to keep them. Some of them have made those decisions for themselves as well.

“We don’t want to rush it. We’ve got to make sure we get the right kind of player in for what we need.”

Midfielder Danny Ventre and striker Steven Gillespie have both left Cantilever Park after their contracts expired at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Players such as Josh Askew, Evan Gumbs and Mitchell Duggan have also left following the expiry of their loan deals.

Carden says the squad needs fairly major surgery to make sure it is ready for the rigours of another season.

“If you look at our regular back four last season, three of them were loan players,” he said.

“Danny Ventre has also left, so we’re left with just Sean Williams and Billy Smart in centre midfield.

“Further up the field, scoring goals was a bit of an issue for us last season so that’s another thing we need to address.

“When you put all that together, it adds up to a lot of recruitment but as I said, we cannot rush it.”

After the players have returned to pre-season training, Yellows have confirmed a programme of eight friendly matches before their league campaign gets underway on Saturday, August 12.

The highlights of Town’s pre-season programme are home games against National League side Wrexham and Carden’s former club Southport.

The Yellows boss says the fixtures offer a good variety of tests but admits there will be parts of pre-season training his players will not like.

“The lads have got close-season programmes to stick to. If they do that, they will come back in good shape,” he said.

“People always say pre-season is hard and there will be fitness work involved that they won’t be doing with a smile on their face.

“Ultimately, though, the fitter the lads are when they come back, the less of that we’ll have to do and the more time we can spend on implementing the way we want to play.

“We don’t want to flog the lads just for the sake of it.

“The games we’ve got will test us and there’s a couple of spaces left for matches that will prepare us in different ways.”

* Warrington Town pre-season friendlies:

Tuesday, July 11, Barnton (A), 7.45pm; Saturday, July 15, Runcorn Town (A), 2pm; Tuesday, July 18, Wrexham (H), 7.45pm; Saturday, July 22, Skelmersdale United (A), 3pm; Tuesday, July 25, Southport (H), 7.30pm; Saturday, July 29, Atherton Colls (A), 3pm; Tuesday, August 1, Colne (A); 7.45pm; Saturday, August 5, TBC.