So that was 2009/2010, a season that in some ways might just see itself drag on a little longer…unfortunately!
For a select few, the Notts County journey has ended already. Eleven out of contract players were told on Friday morning whether they still featured in the club’s future…ironically, by Steve Cotterill, a man who’s future still hangs in the balance. Is that fair, or has his decision really been made already?
Would it really make much sense for Cotterill to be the one to tell any of these players they’re surplus to the club’s requirements if he’s not going to be part of this club in just a few week’s time? It’s a question that has so far continued to split opinion. Regardless, Steve has sat down in each man’s hotel room and given them the thumbs up or thumbs down to their Meadow Lane futures.
Mike Edwards, Craig Westcarr, Stephen Hunt, Kevin Pilkington, Russell Hoult, Jamie Clapham, Matt Hamshaw, Delroy Facey, Sean Canham, Ben Fairclough and Ade Akinbiyi all find themselves out of contract this summer, and will right now be making plans for next season. But where?
Of the chosen eleven, it’s arguable that Edwards, Westy, Hunt and Delroy are the four most worthy of keeping an eye on, the four to have made the bigger impact upon this past season at both ends of he pitch. Steve Cotterill has confirmed that the futures will become clearer on Monday when the details of each player’s meeting will be announced.
Elsewhere in the squad, chairman Ray Trew confirmed shortly after his takeover that both Lee Hughes and Ben Davies would be staying with the club into the next season. Both had agreed in principal to sign, but the club’s transfer embargo was stopping the pen from being put to paper.
Extensions for the pair may not be that necessary, as far as how long a player stays with the club goes they’re worth very little, but it might at least act as a sign of intent for Ray Trew and Jim Rodwell going into the future.
The club is of course still being hampered by the transfer embargo, but this should be coming to an end any day now. The club had reached an agreement with HMRC to complete repayments to them spread over four months. May is that fourth month, and there’s no reason to believe the club will stop repaying now! So touch wood, the club will be active again in the transfer market shortly.
When the embargo is finally lifted, Ray Trew has told supporters that the budget he has set aside for summer spending would be inside the top six for League One. With who gets to spend that money still up in the air, it’s hard to nail down who the club will look at. To add further mystery to Steve Cotterill’s future, he’s already passed on a shopping list to Mr Trew including a striker who just this year played in the Premiership!
Undoubtedly a 15/20 goal striker to play alongside Lee Hughes next season is vital, but similarly, there’s a big Danish-shaped hole between the posts left by the departure of Kasper Schmeichel. So a goalkeeper and a striker will inevitably prove to be the priorities.
The hard work has almost been done for 2009/2010, it’s important now the club keeps the momentum running going into 2010/2011. The season’s fixtures are announced June 17th, with the season starting August 7th…it’s going to be a long wait! Thank God there’s a World Cup! COME ON ENGLAND.
monday morning edit So of the eleven, eight have been released, leaving Westy, Hunt and Edwards to be offered new deals. Sadly, this means the end of Delroy Facey’s Notts career. Quite a shame because he really stepped things up on the home stretch of the season, particularly his game-changing appearance at Northampton Town’s Sixfield’s Stadium. All the best Del!