The club have provided the following update surrounding the First Team Squad.
The manager, James Gannon, has confirmed that written offers have been made to the following players:
- Sam Minihan
- Dan Cowan
- Scott Duxbury
- Ash Palmer
- Paul Turnbull
- Jordan Keane
- Matty Warburton
- Nyal Bell
There is also an intention to have positive talks regarding re-engagement of the young, developing players Jordan Downing, Festus Arthur and Szymon Czubik.
The club can confirm that the following players have already signed for next season:
- Ben Hinchliffe
- Ian Ormson
- Sam Walker
- Elliot Osborne
- Connor Dimaio
- Jake Kirby
- Adam Thomas
- Frank Mulhern
The position of Darren Stephenson has still to be considered fully and discussed, and the manager is set to speak to the player when he returns from a family holiday.
The manager has confirmed that the only player that hasn’t been offered further terms for the 2019/2020 season is Adam Etches, who will be allowed to leave at the expiration of his contract.
We know that a number of our out-of-contract players will attract interest and we may not be able to retain all of last season’s successful team, but the number of offers to the players within the group highlights both the progress of the players and the manager’s belief in them, as individuals and as a team, to represent the club very well again next season.
This loyalty and belief is well-founded as the team have shown last season in matches against higher level teams that they have the organisation, quality and professionalism to compete effectively with even the best in the National.
At this stage last season it was announced publicly that the manager felt that the emerging (and now well-established) training model at the club was the most cost-effective and efficient model for us to progress with. It can be argued effectively that this was proven over the course of last season. The pressures to go full-time are greater within the National League and the aspirations of the club is to continue our progress and become increasingly competitive.
However, following discussions throughout the season, and after the progress of the team and an evaluation of the training structures, a decision was made by the manager, in consultation with the board, staff and players that the club would be best-served in the coming season by seeking a stability, consistency and momentum from the current structures and retaining the majority of this year’s successful team.
The staff have reviewed a number of areas where improvements can be made and advances in training and preparation can be developed further, especially amongst our contracted full-time players. So the movement towards the provision of full-time football continues but will again this season retain a respectful balance with those players that are retaining full or part-time employment outside of football.
The pressures on part-time players and staff increases this year, with the added demands of the national division in terms of travel and playing programme, but it is a prospect that all the staff and players are relishing.