Shrewsbury wrapped up a deal to take prolific non-league striker Daniel Udoh to the New Meadow this week, completing a move from near-neighbours Telford.
Udoh grabbed 26 goals for the Bucks last season and his capture is one that could have big benefits for Salop. Mo Eisa came from a similar level and with a similar haul and he went on to much greater things.
Manager Sam Ricketts admitted he’ll be scouring the non-league scene for other hidden gems, a message that was surely intended to give the fans hope of uncovering plenty of fresh talent.
It could have the opposite effect though. Shrewsbury struggled to get a hold in the division last season after putting their faith in a mixture of non-league and League Two players. The method cost John Askey his job, but Sam Ricketts doesn’t appear to have learned the lesson.
Supporters want to see talent plucked from the non-league scene, of course they do. Who doesn’t want to see their side discover the next Jamie Vardy or Mo Eisa? However, they also want to see a side that is successful and that only comes from achieving the right blend.
Players with little Football League experience have to adapt when they step up. They must learn from senior professionals and for a team to move forward, those key roles must be filled by players with experience of the level they’re at.
Shrewsbury won’t achieve a place in the top six by omitting to add quality and focusing on just potential. Supporters will see that, but a manager like Ricketts who comes out of the non-league scene himself may not.
Regular observers of the National League could easily pick an XI that they believe would cope with the demands of third-tier football and in terms of ability, they might not be far away. Football isn’t all about ability though, there is the knowledge and understanding of a level, there is a fitness difference too.
These things have to be taken into account and Shrewsbury fans might well be a little concerned that the club targeting rough diamonds means they forget to go after the polished article, a vital component in not just pushing the top six, but avoiding the bottom four.Like what the FLW have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!