Tony Lee of Poole Town holds off Louie Slough of Torquay United during a pre-season friendly last year. Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Gulls working on deal to secure Poole Town striker Tony Lee

Dave Thomas

Torquay United are believed to be working on an improved offer to tempt Poole Town to part with prolific striker Tony Lee, who is one of their main transfer targets this summer.

The Gulls have already had one approach for Lee – he scored 36 goals in 37 games for Southern League Premier side Poole last season – turned down by the Dorset club.

But they haven’t given up hope of getting their man and are thought to be ready to increase their first offer.

Bournemouth-based Lee, 25, has an enviable scoring record over several years at SL level, and his tally last season came despite missing two months with a broken collarbone.

Ambitious Poole took the opportunity to extend six-footer Lee’s contract last Christmas, while he was injured, and his current deal runs to the end of next season.

Although he hasn’t asked for a move, United would not be persisting with their interest if they weren’t satisfied that Lee was ready to commit himself to the sort of full-time training regime which manager Gary Johnson demands at Plainmoor.

Johnson has yet to make his first signings of the summer, although he is braced to lose six players from his ‘retained’ list – Armani Little (Forest Green Rovers) and Danny Wright (Havant and Waterlooville) have already joined new clubs and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Joe Lewis, Shaun MacDonald and Ben Wynter are also leaving.

But Johnson stressed: “I can understand how fans feel, but I would say to our supporters ‘Please don’t be anxious. Enjoy your summer, and at the right time we will announce the players we’re going to sign’.

“We’ve got commitments from four or five players so far, while a lot of others and their agents are keeping plenty of plates spinning – that only lasts so long.”

Meanwhile, all NL fans are still waiting for the details of an expected ‘salary cap’ to be announced.

It was agreed in principle a year ago and discussed again at last weekend’s annual meeting, and it is understood that new limits will be introduced, although the proverbial devil will be in the detail.

Next season starts on August 6, ends on Aprll 29 with the play-off final scheduled for May 13 at a venue to be confirmed.