Tranmere Rovers FC return to training at Prenton Park under JohnBarnes and Jason McAteer

THE new Tranmere management team of John Barnes and Jason McAteer began work with just a dozen senior professionals on the books as the squad reported for pre-season training today.

Rovers are waiting on decisions from several out of contract players who are being offered new terms for this season but are yet to commit themselves. They include goalkeeper Danny Coyne, midfielders Steve Jennings and Charlie Barnett and striker Ian Moore.

I understand Barnes has identified potential targets to strengthen the squad among hundreds of professional players looking for work this summer. He has already indicated his intention to make use of the loan system for the forthcoming League One campaign.

The former Liverpool and England star may be able to use his wealth of contracts at top-flight clubs to secure the services of bright young prospects from the Premier League on a temporary basis.

Tranmere's only summer signing so far, experienced midfielder Mark Allott, was recruited from Oldham a few days before Ronnie Moore was dismissed as manager in early June.

Barnes, starting his first job in club management since a short spell at Celtic in 1999, has a fortnight to build up squad numbers before Rovers kick off their programme of pre-season friendlies with games against local amateur clubs Cammell Laird and Heswall on Tuesday, July 14.

The 12 players already signed up for the new season are defenders Andy Taylor, Ian Goodison and Aaron Cresswell, midfielders Gareth Edds, Chris Shuker, Mark Allott, Ryan Fraughan and Ash Taylor and front men Bas Savage, Craig Curran, Terry Gornell and Josh Macauley