DAVE McGURK insists none of Hyde United’s new boys are a blind stab in the dark, despite a lack of recent action.
For there is a library of matches going back three years he can call on.
The non-league football showdown may have kept players off the field but pre-season has seen a flurry of incomings at Ewen Fields.
Tom Morris and Louis Myers were just two of them, coming in from Congleton Town and FC United of Manchester respectively.
The latest arrivals include Jack Sherratt and Chinedu Uche.
But even though they have not played a match in months, McGurk still knows all about them.
He said: “It’s very rare we sign players blind, we will have seen them play.
“Tom was in my assistant John McCombe’s youth team at Port Vale and Louis Myers played against us here last season for FC United.
“We get footage on the players and do our homework in terms of character checks. What they’re like off the pitch, do they live their life right? Then we make the decision whether to sign them or not.
“We’ve got game after game, clip after clip on players. We’ve everything we need to make an educated decision.
“From one, two or even three seasons ago, we’ve filmed every game. So a lot of the players within this league, we’ve got footage on.
“Those we haven’t, we get it sent to us.”
Morris, described by McGurk as a ‘ball playing left-sided centre half that will give us a bit of balance’ will add to Hyde United’s back line.
But it is striker Myers that can really get fans excited, as long as he behaves away from the pitch.
And things could go so well, the 22-year-old may shoot himself up the football pyramid.
McGurk added: “Louis is a character but there are two ways of looking at it.
“Everyone says the same thing. He’s got all the ability, it’s just getting him right off the pitch.
“The off-the-pitch stuff, he openly admits it and I asked him to describe what he thought other managers and people would be saying about him.
“He said exactly what was coming back – great lad, has had his off-the-pitch problems but he has got the ability.
“If you can get the best out of him, you’ve got a player on your hands.
“He’s the number nine we’ve been looking for but we can’t keep him right off the field.
“We don’t have enough time with him to do that, we’re not a full-time club that can monitor his every move, so it’s up to him.
“Now it’s a case of, ‘How seriously do you want to take this?’
“If he gets 20-25 goals for Hyde in this league, he won’t be with us next season. He’ll be going on to bigger and better things as everyone is looking for his type of player – but it’s totally down to him.”
Hyde United’s eight pre-season matches see them take on sides ranging from North West Counties League new boys Bury AFC to the Under-23s of Championship side Huddersfield Town.
And that is just how McGurk wanted it.
He said: “It’s a mix of teams and different environments in which the players can be challenged, that’s what we’re looking for in pre-season.”