THE Seasiders have made their first summer signing but are not in the running for Coventry City starlet Jordan Willis.
Full-back Jake Caprice has signed a one-year deal at Bloomfield Road, with the option of a further year, having been released by Crystal Palace this summer.
The 18-year-old right-back, who joined his new team-mates for the first day of training at Squires Gate yesterday, impressed manager Ian Holloway during a trial match against Manchester United last season.
He will not be joined at the club by fellow teenage defender Willis – the Seasiders were reported to be leading the chase for the 17-year-old defender, who is wanted by a host of Premier League clubs, but The Gazette understands Willis is not on boss Holloway’s wanted list.
Caprice can’t wait to get started. He said: “I’m delighted to be here. My agent spoke to the manager after I trained with the club last season and played against United.
“I grew up at Palace and it was a bit of an uncertain time when I left the club, but I’m really happy that I’ve got things sorted and have a new challenge in front of me.
“I’m a right-back who loves to get forward, overlap and get in attacking positions, but I like to defend as well and it’s important not to neglect that side of my game.”
Caprice is yet to make a senior appearance in the professional game and he added: “I’m still young and I’ve got plenty to learn, but I watched a lot of Blackpool in the Premier League and there are plenty of good, young players here, so I think it’s the perfect place for me to learn my craft.”
Holloway and his assistant Steve Thompson put the players through their paces yesterday morning and ran the rule over a triallist.
The unnamed player will spend the week training with the club ahead of their warm weather training camp in Portugal.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher participated fully in training, as predicted in The Gazette last week, after shaking off the ankle injury which ruled him out of the play-off final at Wembley
Keeper Matt Gilks declared after training that it felt good to be back.
Gilks said: “It was great to see all the lads on Monday. The banter was brilliant
“We’ve all had a good break over the summer but this is what we do, so we have to get right back into it.
“It was a tough season and after the play-offs the lads needed a rest. Now we are more than happy to be back at work.”