Truro City boss Paul Wotton has played down speculation linking former Treyew Road favourites Connor Riley-Lowe and Andy Watkins with moves back to Cornwall, writes Gareth Davies.
Until recently, the duo had been plying their trade at National League South side Bath City. However, after the Romans failed in their promotion quest with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Dorking a fortnight ago, their manager Jerry Gill has let six players leave the Somerset outfit.
For left-back Riley-Lowe, he leaves after spending just one season with Bath after previously playing for Truro at step two. Along with Tyler Harvey, the pair moved across the West Country and up the M5 12 months ago. Striker Harvey, owing to work commitments returned to Treyew Road as the leaves dropped last autumn, while Riley-Lowe saw the campaign out at Bath until their play-off heartache.
Ace marksman Watkins, meanwhile, was part of Truro’s remarkable rise up through the non-league pyramid and he starred in the White Tigers’ FA Vase triumph at Wembley in 2007. He went onto make close to 300 appearances for Truro before leaving for Bath in 2013.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Wotton said he was keeping his options open in terms of left sided options, while also remarking that his striking department was in rude health currently.
“I actually don’t know Connor Riley-Lowe,” remarked the White Tigers chief. “Yes, we do need a left sided player, but what I will also say is that Ryan Dickson can play there, Rio Garside can play there and Shane White can play there so I have got boys that can play down that left-hand side.
“He (Riley-Lowe) is someone the club is aware of and he is someone that my assistant Yetts (Stewart Yetton) knows so his name has been mentioned. He is one of a long list of left sided players that we are looking at but we are in no rush. We are due to start on September 19, but that could have now been thrown into all kinds of doubt.
“We have done a lot of our business early and we are happy with where our squad is. We are also interested in good players, of course we are, but there has been no contact between myself and Connor Riley-Lowe.
“I know Andy because he was at Argyle as a kid. He has gone on to have a great career at Truro and at Bath City as well. With our striking options at the moment, I think we’re OK because we have got Tyler Harvey, we have got Andrew Neal, Alex Battle, Niall Thompson and even Stewart Yetton can play there. We are overloaded in a striking position at the minute to be honest.”
With a squad totalling 15 currently, whether Wotton brings in any new players or not, his side will not be underpinned heavily by loan players next term, as was the case in 2019-20.
This clearly demonstrates that City are moving in the right direction but the former Argyle legend, in his first stint as a manager after assisting Derek Adams at Home Park for three years, still says that the loan market is ‘really important’.
“(Permanent players) shows progress and it shows a statement of intent,” he enthused.
“Our loan players were fantastic for us last season and I will not have a bad word said about them because they were terrific.
“They were great for us and we were great for them so it worked both ways which is exactly how a loan should work.
“I think with permanent players, you have more control over your squad. You know they are not going to go off and play an under-23s game and not be available for your fixture.
“Loans are really, really important and they will continue to be so going forward.”