Chairman Andy Pilley insists Fleetwood Town are as ambitious as ever – despite a new focus on value for money.
Town released the majority of their high earners at the end of last season, much of their summer recruitment indicating a desire to invest in youth.
But the recent capture of Chesterfield dynamo Jimmy Ryan was a statement of intent from manager Graham Alexander, and chairman Pilley is still eyeing up a push for the Championship.
Pilley said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with the signing of Jimmy Ryan. I sincerely believe he is one of the very best midfielders in League One.
“A lot of people have wrongly assumed that because the focus is on value for money we lack ambition.
“You don’t spend £6m on a training ground if you lack ambition. We’re as hungry as ever.
“We’re starving and we want to see this club in the Championship eventually, and players like Jimmy Ryan will help us get there.”
Town are still recruiting after 17 players left the club last month but Pilley is happy with progress so far.
He told the club’s website: “I’m really pleased. Declan (McManus) looks an outstanding prospect, and Amari’i Bell is a player we’ve tracked and wanted to bring to the club for a long time as we think he’s got a really exciting future.
“We’re confident Declan is going to score goals and we’d like to think we can turn him into a full international during his time at Fleetwood.
“Fellow striker Vamara Sanogo has come in as well. He’s another who looked excellent when I saw him in development games, and I think a lot of people are going be pleasantly surprised by how good he is.”
But it’s Ryan, for the past two seasons a thorn in Fleetwood’s side when playing for Chesterfield, who excites the chairman most.
“He just does not give the ball away,” Pilley said. “His energy levels are exceptional. He played nearly every game of the season and was hugely influential in Chesterfield getting to the play-offs.”
The chairman has promised to make Town “a force to be reckoned with”, adding: “We expect to get some more real top quality in over the next couple of weeks.”