Southport aim to sign Football League players - Watson

Liam Watson
Watson returned to Southport in 2008 after a spell with local rivals Burscough

Southport boss Liam Watson aims to buy Football League players following the club's reprieve from relegation.

The Sandgrounders will stay in the Blue Square Bet Premier following financial problems at Rushden and Diamonds.

"I had a meeting with the chairman and it went on for hours," Watson told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"But we've decided to increase the amount of days we train and we'll be looking to sign Football League players rather than non league players."

After the Football Conference's decision to expel Rushden and Diamonds, Southport are now preparing for life in non league's top division for another season.

The Sandgrounders knew there was a chance they could be re-instated, but had to wait six weeks for the decision at the Conference's AGM.

Despite the wait for a verdict, Watson believes his team are not at a disadvantage when signing players.

"If you're going to take players from the Football League, their contracts run until 30 June," Watson continued. "But most of them stay so they can get a month's severance pay till 30 July.

"Don't get me wrong, we have strong base to work from. But whichever league we were in, there would have to be a fair amount of recruitment because we finished the season with 17 players.

"Five of those were out of contract and they've all been let go and there is one or two with interest from other clubs wanting to buy them.

"It's obviously going to be a busy time but it's not something that's actually phasing me."