HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling says the money contributed by fans through the 'squad builder' scheme has helped him improve on last season's team.

Bulls fans have raised over £40,000 for the side's playing budget.

Gowling says that this money has been vital in helping him to build his squad.


"For us it just gives us more freedom to sign some of the players that we're going too," said Gowling.

"One of the players that will get announced at some point, the signing is from the fans.

"That's the kind of player that we're going to get it.

"I'd love to announce it now but we can't yet unfortunately.

"It's enabled me to look at some of the areas of the pitch that we really needed to improve on this year and make those changes.

"It's enabled us to bring in the likes of Brad (Wade) into the team.

"We said we're going to have a smaller squad but it just means the squad doesn't have to be as small because of the money they're bringing in.

"We've got the target of £50,000, hopefully we can bring in more than that so it gives us more to keep strengthening the squad further.

"What it has enabled us to do is have a better squad than last year.

"Every year we want to progress and get better, the fans have given us that to go and improve on the squad.

"I can't thank them enough. I'm excited about the season and there's a real positivity around the place.

"The injection of cash shows how positive the fans are and they back us to get things right."

Gowling says he is looking to sign players with the experience of playing in front of large crowds.

"We've got to be better at home that's for sure," added Gowling.

"We need a bit more of an experienced squad that can deal with the fans and the amount we get.

"We want to get some Football League players in who can deal with that pressure."

The Bulls have a host of friendlies in preparation for the season beginning at home to Spennymoor Town on August 6.

"All the lads have been pencilled down for minutes and obviously we'll stagger the minutes during pre-season to make sure they're at optimal fitness," Gowling added.

"I know some of the fans don't like that but to protect the players you can't have lads playing 90 minutes from the first game because they'll get injured.

"We've got a good crop of players that we'll be looking at this pre-season that are better than last season.

"The crop of trialists that we've got in have got better each year and are more tailored to us.

"We've had a couple of young lads in for pre-season and they've really impressed as well."