Adding a goalscorer is on the list of priorities for Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt, who is working hard on putting together a squad that can lift them higher than mid-table next season.

Although finishing 11th in the National League represented a significant improvement on avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth the previous year, Evatt was disappointed the Bluebirds were unable to mount a play-off push.

Not being clinical in taking their chances proved to be their undoing, as they finished with a goal tally of 52, the joint-lowest of the teams in the top half of the table.

Evatt is interested in turning Dior Angus’ loan from Port Vale into a permanent deal, but with the departure of strikers Jacob Blyth and Nathan Waterston in the last week, he still needs to bring in extra firepower.

Evatt said: “Goalscorers are not easy to come by, but I’m clear in my mind now about what we need to get us into that top bracket of this division.

“Obviously, goals are a huge part of that, so if we can add goals to our team and add a bit of quality here and there – we might lose Dan Jones, so possibly another centre-half or two as well, I think we’ll be not far off.

“The good thing for me is we have a serious platform and a foundation now that we can build on.”

The most prolific forward Barrow had in their midst in the season just finished was Tyler Smith, who scored 11 goals during his loan spell from Sheffield United by early December.

He was unfortunately then recalled by the Blades a few weeks before his deal was due to expire, just when AFC’s form was picking up, and they were ultimately unable to replace his predatory instincts.

Evatt said: “That’s football. Tyler did exceptionally well - to get the goals he did in his first season in men’s football before Christmas was exceptional.

“If we could have kept Tyler, it’s all a game of what-ifs, really. You can never think about ‘what if we’d done this’ or ‘what if we’d done that.’

“What’s happened has happened and we’re thankful that we had Tyler for a period of time and we’ll try and recruit another Tyler for next season.”

Getting a consistent scorer in would help the Bluebirds against the teams who finished lower down in the table, the likes of which they sometimes struggled to break down.

Eventually, it meant some of the excellent results they had against some of the division’s high-flyers during the campaign were undone.

“It kind of builds frustration that we weren’t in and around the play-offs because we can compete with those teams,” Evatt said.

“We beat most of those teams during the season, so that was pleasing, but it just reiterates my belief that these players were good enough to compete at the top echelons of this division.”