Players with the 'right character' top Cobblers' shopping list
Richards knows what it takes to build a promotion-winning side
Recruiting players with the right type of character will be a top priority for the Cobblers when they enter the transfer market this summer, according to first-team coach Marc Richards.
Town released six players following relegation from League One whilst another two - Lloyd Jones and Ryan Watson - have been offered new, improved contracts. Only 10 players are currently under contract for next season, meaning there is plenty of work for Jon Brady and co to do this summer.
Brady has said his aim is to create a team with 'power, pace and athleticism' for League Two next season, but there is more to it than simply a player's ability on the pitch.
Richards knows from his own title-winning experience how important character and attitude can be in pursuit of success. He captained Town's all-conquering 2015/16 team that romped to the League Two title by 13 points.
Ricky Holmes, Nicky Adams, Ryan Cresswell, Jason Taylor, John-Joe O'Toole and Richards himself formed the backbone of that team, and whilst all were talented, they were also strong characters and leaders.
Richards now hopes to use that experience in his career as a coach as Town set about rebuilding a team for next season.
"There's a lot of work to be done and it's the same for every football club throughout all of the leagues," he said.
"We all have our retained lists and our released lists and now it's all about picking the players that we see that can help take this club forward.
"It's about players but it's also about characters. I always go back to the (Chris) Wilder and (Alan) Knill days when we had such a strong group of characters - and not just that, they were the right characters.
"I think that's a massive part of building a new squad because we want to get the right people in for the right positions and that's something we had a meeting about today (Thursday).
"We've got a shopping list and our aim is to get as many of those players on that list as we can. We'll work hard to get those players in."