Peterhead boss Jim McInally hopes to make the most of the loan market this summer.
With lower-league clubs scheduled to begin their seasons in the League Cup group stage on October 6, the Blue Toon gaffer is gradually beginning to build his squad for the new campaign.
From last season’s squad Scott Brown, Simon Ferry, Alan Cook, Steven Boyd, Aidan Smith, Lenny Wilson, Jason Brown, Ryan Conroy, Gary Fraser, Andrew McCarthy, Derek Lyle and Ben Armour all remain at Balmoor.
Isaac Layne and Gary MacKenzie have already been signed on permanent deals and McInally hopes he may be able to bring in some loanees from Premiership and Championship clubs.
With no confirmation of when reserve leagues may start, McInally believes there will be a lot of players in need of regular games.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager said: “The loan market is one that can be beneficial for us this summer.
“With the pandemic it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be any reserve football any time soon.
“That means there are a lot of players there who need to be playing and hopefully we can use that to the best of our ability to bring guys in.
“If you think about how many players there are, particularly at Premiership clubs, it doesn’t bear thinking about how many of them won’t get games if they don’t go on loan.”
Peterhead have had a number of loan players within their ranks in recent seasons who have gone on to establish themselves at full-time clubs.
Dundee’s Cammy Kerr, St Johnstone’s Liam Gordon, Aaron Comrie, now of Dunfermline, and Derry City’s Ally Gilchrist are some of the Blue Toon’s former loan players.
McInally believes they can help players in their development and added: “We’ve done OK with loan players in the past guys like Ally Gilchrist and others who have come in and done well.
“And it’s helped the players who have come and played for us to progress when they’ve gone back to their parent clubs.
“Cammy Kerr has done it at Dundee and, although he didn’t set the heather on fire with us, Liam Gordon is now an established first-team player with St Johnstone and Aaron Comrie is at Dunfermline now.
“We’ve just got to use the market as best we can. What’s been a negative about loans in the past is that reserve league matches have been played during the week.
“In the past players have had to play in these games and haven’t been able to train with us.
“But it seems like it will be a while before reserve games start again so we might not have that problem.”