COMPETITION is key this year according to Carl Fletcher.The Pilgrims' boss insists that he wants players fighting hard with one another for their places.
Fletch signed 'keeper Rene Gilmartin yesterday, meaning the Pilgrims' will start the season with three goalkeepers on the books.
Obviously only one can start the first game but Fletch says it's important to have the players competing with one another.
"Yeah we've got Rene in. We've known about him for a little while," said Fletch.
"I say about the outfielders that I want competition for places and it's the same for the goalies as well.
"Jake did really well for us last year, Ollie came through and got his first start which was great for him and he's still progressing at his age, and obviously now we've got Rene who's come in. It's great from our point of view."
With competition taking such high importance in Fletcher's plans, pre-season is as important as ever for the players. The whole first XI is up for grabs at the moment and the gaffer isn't ruling out picking any of the players at his disposal from day one.
"If they do well, train well and are doing the best in training then they play. It's the same for anyone, if you do well in pre-season and your form is better than your competition then you will start," he stated.
"I'm very wary though because I've had it in the past. You can be great all pre-season but if you don't that first game you are disappointed, so if they put the work in they will play.
"Everyone is here for pre-season so whether they are 17 like Matty (Lecointe) or 30, 50, 60 like Darren (Purse) is it's a chance for everyone to make the squad."
Fletch did however point out that some of the younger players could, should they not break into the first team, go out on loan.
"We did say to Penners (Jed Harper-Penman) Vas (Isaac Vassel) and Coppy (Jordan Copp) when sorting their contracts that we know what they can do and we will probably try and get them out on loan," he stated.
"But if they impress us enough to get into the first team then they won't be [going on loan]. It's important to get game time against grown men if you like. Some players mature very quickly, others take a while so we'll just have a look and see what we're going to do."