Boston United boss Dennis Greene has revealed he was pipped to the signings of Leon Mettam, Danny Sleath and Shane Clarke by the spending power of new Conference North rivals Tamworth.
The Pilgrims boss held extensive talks with the trio, but believes the financial muscle of the Lambs, who were relegated from the Conference Premier last season, was too much to resist.
Mettam, in particular, was a man in demand after scoring more than 50 times for Worksop in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division last season.
Meanwhile, midfielders Sleath and Clarke are ex-Boston players.
Sleath spent three years at the Jakemans Stadium, helping the club to promotion in 2010 before leaving for Nuneaton in 2012.
Clarke played for United in the 2010/11 season before departing for Gainsborough Trinity.
“Mettam and Clarke are both Lincoln lads, but they’ve joined Tamworth, which is an hour and half away for them,” said Greene.
“People can make their own mind up about why they’ve gone there.
“We train 18 miles away (in Cranwell) from where they live, but they’ve opted to join Tamworth instead.
“When a club offers players twice what you can offer, there’s not that much you can do about it.
“There’s a lot of money being spent by some clubs at our level and sometimes it’s difficult to compete.
“We’ve been speaking to lots of players and we’ve got to find two players for the group, but there’s still plenty of time, so I’m not worried.”