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Season Preview: Deciding the Defense

With our best defender from last season returning back to parent club Hull City and with other set to leave there was needed rebuilding in our defensive game and Gary Caldwell as very much delivered.

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Emerson Boyce, Gaten Bong, James Tavernier, Rob Kiernan, Aaron Taylor Sinclair and Harry Maguire have all left the club over the summer so far, James Perch is also likely to leave before September comes, and therefore we needed to do a lot of rebuilding.

First of we needed to solidify the central positions so in came the experienced head of Welsh international Craig Morgan who in the process of signing for us, turned down Bolton Wanderers. Always nice to get one over the neighbors isn't it. The defender who signs from Rotherham United alongside Jason Pearce looks to give us two very experienced heads at this and Championship level and something for Caldwell to build around.

So who next? Well a younger player defender who very much impressed against us last season in the shape of Donervon Daniels. The defender who has signed another contract to stay with West Bromwich Albion opted for the switch to Wigan and a very good signing he looks to be. With strength and pace to burn he gives you a player not easily out muscled and combine that with a good level of footballing ability defiantly a player who could progress in the future.

Two players added centerally then to join up with Leon Barnett and Jason Pearce which comes us a good solid four defenders. The next question who would come in for the full back positions.

So far this summer, in pre-season, we have been playing with wing-backs for much of it. Therefore players with high energy levels are a must and the ability to whip the ball into the box. You wondered if we would look to sign such players, however two turned up in quick sucession.

Firstly a bit of a coupe for the left side of the defense with the signing of Reece James from Manchester United. Very much tracked by Championship clubs we managed to get ahead of the race and bring the player in on a permanent deal for three years. Highly regards following loan spells someone who will defiantly prove strong competition alongside Andrew Taylor.

On the right hand-side we have signed one, with another waiting in the wings. Firstly the loan signing of 18 year-old Jonjoe Kenny from Everton, primary a right back the defender can play anywhere across the back line and his highly thought of at his parent club. Given the chance he could prove to be a very solid choice for the right back position.

Otherwise it could be that trialist Kevin McNaughton will sign a contract at the club to take the right back slot. The defender released from Cardiff City has been training with the team for the past week or so and has featured in pre-season. Definitely a situation that could develop further over the coming week or so.

Defensively then we look more or less ready. Possibly a bit short in the right back area but expect that to be sorted within the next week or so, whilst elsewhere we have player who will be more than capable of coping with what League One can throw at them.

Defenders to start the season: Jonjoe Kenny, Donveron Daniels, James Perch, Craig Morgan, Reece James