GORDON Bartlett is putting his faith in the frail and the future for next season's Ryman Premier campaign.
Transfer activity at Grosvenor Vale has been non-existent so far but Wealdstone boss Bartlett insists things will start to hot up in the next few weeks as he tries to land his targets and integrate them with the squad for their hectic pre-season schedule.
While he waits patiently for new faces to sign on the dotted line Bartlett has switched his attentions to players who rarely got a look-in last season.
Injury prone strike trio Stephen Hughes, Ben Alexander and Callum Martin could feature more this time providing they retain match fitness, while the Stones will call upon their reserve team players when form dips and injuries bite.
"We don't need to bring bundles of players in as we've the nucleus of a good squad," said Bartlett.
"I've got two or three players in the pipeline but we've also got Hughesy coming back after his operation while Ben and Callum need a good pre-season under their belts.
"With my positive hat on it will be like signing three new players but, with my realistic hat on, we know the three of them have had fitness issues in the past, so we can't take anything for granted."
Reserves defender Garry Jones forced himself into first team contention last season and Bartlett has hopes that more follow suit, notably
goalkeeper Sam Leggett, defender Dan Lake and midfielder Jacques Floweday.
Bartlett could also add to his squad by using the loan system to good effect, just as he has done in the past with Watford.
With Bartlett already enjoying a good working relationship with new Hornets boss Malky Mackay, more youngsters could make the short hop over the Hertfordshire border.
"Malky was the one that brought the teams over to us in the past and the fact he has the top job there is no bad thing," stressed Bartlett.
"I would like to think that (loan players) is a possibility but they are short-term stop gaps that benefit both parties.
"While the option is there we would like to stick with a fairly settled squad. Look at last season. The squad that started it was almost the same as the one that finished it."
Watford, under the now Reading boss Brendan Rodgers, were due to bring a side consisting mainly of youngsters, yet Mackay is likely to show Bartlett the ultimate compliment by bringing a strong first team XI for the July 18 match. ..SUPL: