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Triple signing: Gaffer's verdict

31 July 2017

Kevin Nolan was delighted to add three more players to his squad with the start of the Sky Bet League Two season looming on the horizon.

Goalkeeper Branislav Pindroch, defender Pierce Bird and striker Callum Saunders have all agreed contracts following successful trials and the boss was pleased to get the deals done.

"Mark Crossley had a tip-off about Branislav from one of his contacts so we had a good look at footage of him before bringing him in," said Nolan.

"We think he's going to be another good addition. He has demonstrated a first-class attitude and has all the attributes."

Pindroch's arrival means Notts have three senior goalkeepers on their books and the manager is looking forward to promoting healthy competition between them.

"We have got them at the right time," said Nolan. "It would have been silly to let one of them go because we feel we can improve them.

"We saw key attributes in both Ross [Fitzsimons] and Branislav, which will only be helped by Mark [Crossley's] tutelage.

"We have two goalkeepers in now to push Adam Collin for the starting jersey because they all want to be number one.

"It will be an interesting battle over the course of the season."

Branislav Pindroch v Nottm Forest

Branislav Pindroch in action for Notts against Nottingham Forest

Bird makes the step up from the tenth tier of English football to join Notts and Nolan was full of praise for the 18-year-old.

"Pierce is a great kid and we are absolutely delighted to have him here," he said.

"There is nobody more deserving of a contract - he has been fantastic since he walked through the door.

"We played against him in a friendly at the back end of last season and were really impressed so we told him to go away over the summer and work on a few things, which he did.

"I think he's lost more than a stone in the space of two months and he has a real desire to be a footballer.

"Hopefully we can continue to improve him. He is another one who we feel can get better the longer he is with us."

Nolan was impressed with the dedication shown by the youngster to earn himself a deal at Meadow Lane.

"He took a real punt coming to us because he was told his scholarship as a civil engineer would no longer be there for him if he came on trial with us for four or five weeks," said the manager.

"We spoke to his parents, who have been great, and thankfully it has paid off for him."

Pierce Bird celebrates scoring the winning goal at York

Pierce Bird celebrates scoring the winning goal at York City last Saturday

Nolan believes Saunders brings something different to his attacking options, saying: "He plays off the shoulder, runs in behind and does all of the ugly stuff well, like closing down and running the channels.

"We are pleased to have him here. I have spoken to his dad, Dean, a lot and he said Callum just needs a chance.

"You know he will not go home and be told the wrong things. He will have good influences around him - his dad knows what it takes to be a professional."

The manager is excited to see the improvement in Saunders as he benefits from the experience around him.

"I don't think there are many better players for a young lad to learn from than Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi," said Nolan.

"Their influence can only be positive for him and he needs to make sure he gets his head down and works hard. He will get opportunities - it's about taking them now."

Callum Saunders v Forest

Callum Saunders in action during the pre-season friendly v Nottingham Forest

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