Stevenage FC Chairman Phil Wallace spoke about how the club prepared for the first ever ‘half season’ transfer window ending on January 31st.
“We always knew we would have to do our business at the back end of the window,” the Chairman told StevenageFC.com.
“You have got a lot of things going on during the early days in League Two. There are the clubs with money to spend, those that believe that by investing they will give themselves a better chance of promotion and those with FA Cup windfall money.
“It is definitely a seller's market for the first 10-14 days with clubs asking for more than they expect to get for a sale or a loan. We don’t have those funds available so we had to sit back and wait our turn.
“Around the middle of the month it all starts to even out and some value starts to enter the market. By the time you get to the last few days of the window, things become more sensible and you can get some good business done. It’s all pretty exciting stuff - I love deadline day.”
Although the transfer window can seem hectic, the Chairman says the club was well prepared.
“We had done most of our work months ago with Leon Hunter constantly watching players and talking to clubs, so we knew exactly what we wanted and Leon set those deals up. We got Josh McQuoid and Connor Ogilvie in early on and that strengthened our squad and solved a few positional problems for us.
“We knew Harry McKirdy was probably going back to Villa and we suspected that Nottingham Forest would recall Tyler Walker, so we lined up Ryan Loft from Spurs and Kaylen Hinds from Arsenal until the end of the season to replace them. We had to wait until Kaylen signed a new contract at Arsenal, but it was worth the wait."
"Finally, we had to wait for Jack King. That was never going to be a quick one, but eventually our patience paid off and we were able to sort out a deal that saw Scunthorpe release Jack on a free and he signed an 18 month deal for us.
“Going the other way was Rowan Liburd on loan to Orient which partly paid for the incoming loans. This was a last minute deal but we knew Orient were keen and it suited both clubs as well as Rowan, who will benefit from playing games.”
Changes to the loan market this season mean all business must be done in either the summer or January transfer window, which the Chairman believes is of benefit to the club.
“It is a long 31 days in January and you certainly have to think hard about what you do because you know there will be no more dips into the pot.
“This is it now until the end of the season no matter what injuries or suspensions you pick up. I do think that the top clubs are starting to realise that they really need strategic partners, with great facilities if they want to develop their players properly.
“Half season loans mean that young players have to adapt and immerse themselves into the 1st team culture much quicker. If the lad doesn’t fit, then under these new rules he is going to have several months not playing football.
“The bigger and better clubs have realised that choosing their partners is an important part of their decision making process and it is not all about who pays the most money for loans now.
“Overall I like the new system and I think the enforced continuity will be better for everyone.”