DAVE McNabb says he does not expect to add any more new players to his Warrington Rylands squad ahead of the new season.

While further signings are unlikely, however, he says that may change if “someone a little bit special” becomes available.

Following their promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Blues have added five new players as well as retaining the majority of their title-winning squad from last season.

Midfielder Jak McCourt was the latest to join last week, following striker Ryan Brooke, versatile wideman James Barrigan and central defenders Aaron Morris and Josh Langley.

As a result, McNabb declared himself pleased with the group he has assembled for their first season at Step Three.

“I think we’re probably done now. We’ve got a squad of around 21-22 which is really strong and we’re really happy with it,” he said when asked about the prospect of more signings.

“Obviously, if someone a little bit special comes along, you’re always going to have a look at it but I think we’re all but done.

“I think we’ve done well. We were planning while not knowing which league we were going to be in with the season going down to the wire, but a lot of the players we’ve brought in are lads we’ve wanted for a long time.

“What they bring is stability, experience at the level and most importantly, they are really good lads.”

The signing of McCourt raised eyebrows throughout non-league football, with the 26-year-old dropping down two divisions to join Blues having spent last season with National League side Chesterfield.

Warrington Guardian:

Jak McCourt became Rylands' fifth new signing last week

He is a player who has history with the Gorsey Lane side having trained with them for a period when football started to re-emerge from Covid-enforced lockdown.

So has his signing fired a warning shot that Blues mean business at their new level?

“Sending a message was never really the intention. We just want to be better at what we do,” McNabb says.

“Jak’s a midfielder who’s got a little bit of everything. He’s aggressive, good at winning the ball back and gets around the pitch well, but he’s exceptional on the ball as well.

“The idea of bringing him in was to make our squad better. It’s not really about anyone else.

“We’ve had some nice messages from a lot of Chesterfield fans, which is really good.

“The stuff that’s come out about Jak has been really positive and I’m sure he’s really proud of the response.

“We’ve known Jak for a while and have kept in contact since he was training with us.

“It was more of a perfect storm, with things aligning at the right time.

“With the things he has going on away from football, it worked out for him step back to being part-time.

“We got a little bit lucky with the circumstances but we’re made up to have him on board.”

McCourt and his teammates are in the early stages of pre-season, with the 2022-23 campaign officially getting underway on August 13.

Warrington Guardian:

Blues have already played one pre-season game, losing 3-2 to Welsh champions TNS on June 25. Picture by Mark Percy

However, things go up a gear this weekend as Rylands welcome League Two outfit Salford City to Gorsey Lane for a pre-season friendly.

The game also marks the opening of the club’s new stand, which features upgraded changing rooms and hospitality facilities as they aim to make strides off the field.

“The work that’s gone in behind the scenes has been massive,” McNabb said.

“Mark (Pye, chairman), Tony (Bennett, secretary) and all of the volunteers have done brilliantly.

“We had a great day down there on Saturday with the junior players getting a look at the new changing rooms.

“Everyone’s worked really hard on it and it’s a massive thank you from me and the players to all who have been part of getting it ready.”

Warrington Guardian:

Off-field developments at Gorsey Lane include upgraded changing rooms and hospitality facilities

On pre-season so far, the Blues boss said: “They’ve come back quite fit and strong.

“The quality of the training sessions has been through the roof, so we’re quite happy.

“We’ve had footballs out pretty much all the way through and now we’re moving into larger-sided games.

“We’ve got a couple of friendlies coming up and we’re really looking forward to them.”