Pre-season is underway...

Euro 2012 is finally over with Spain proving to everyone that they may well be the best international team ever to have played the game.

But whilst the Spanish will be nursing severe hangovers tomorrow morning, poor old Michael Appleton will have a headache of a completely different nature to deal with.

Now July is upon us, the Pompey manager now has the chance to cast his eye over all those out-of-contract rejects that were unwanted by their other clubs whilst attempting to beg Premier League clubs for their up-and-coming youngsters.

Unfortunately the purse strings at the bank of PFC have been tightened so hard that Appy won't even be able to delve into the bargain bin as even that will be too rich for our League One blood.

Meanwhile, the first player to suggest a five-a-side match during pre-season training will probably get a slap given how many senior professionals remain at the club and even then, how many of those are going to stay? My guess would be a number between zero and one.

Appleton's "recruitment drive" thus far is to promote George Colson, Elliot Wheeler and Dan Butler from the youth academy. The only rumours of senior players to be signed is Barnet's Izale McLeod and a young Premier League goalkeeper on loan.

So currently at best that's five players in, three of which probably won't be first team regulars and the other two haven't even been signed yet. Out of the rest of the players currently at the club, my personal opinion is that only Ashley Harris and Sam Magri will remain.

That doesn't bode well with the pre-season friendly programme starting in less than a fortnight and so there is plenty of work to be done now with at least another fifteen players to be signed between now and the end of August.

That is, of course, unless the players' wage bill has crippled the club to death before then.