Russell Short has committed his immediate future to Bury Town by signing a non-contract deal, but he could still depart the club this summer.
The Blues — who kick their pre-season campaign off with trips to Thetford Town tonight and Walsham-le-Willows on Monday (both 7.45pm) — are already set to lose Connor Hall to Cambridge United, while professional clubs remain interested in Short.
However, the right-back has stated he is committed to Bury Town while there and wants to help them to promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division this season.
“There may be other opportunities, but I’m committed to Bury on a non-contract basis,” said Short, who has combined his football commitments with launching his own clothing brand The Loyal Love. “It suits me down to the ground and if nothing materialises I’ll talk again with the club.
“The players we’ve brought in are all high quality and are good lads, so that’s a bonus, and everyone wants the same thing — the aim is to try and go up to the next level.”
Manager Richard Wilkins agreed the deal was good for both parties as Bury — who were in advanced talks with a defender as the Free Press went to the printers — look to build on their squad for the upcoming campaign.
However, versatile teenage Hall looks as if he is on his way to Conference club Cambridge United — as soon as he fully recovers from injury.
“I spoke to them and they said they can’t sign me because I haven’t done a medical,” said ex-England Colleges international Hall. “They have said ‘sort yourself out’ and once I’m ready to take my medical and pass that I can sign.
“Once I’ve signed that’s when I will be happy, but nothing is signed so I’m still being cautious about it.
“Despite having a season full of injuries, to still get a move would be fantastic.”
Team Bury defender Phill Weavers will be given his chance during friendlies to prove he can fill the void left by Hall, while Wilkins has also been impressed with ex-Football League striker Richard Logan’s attitude to pre-season.
“He’s looked a lot sharper and a lot fitter in training,” said the Blues’ boss, who will also run the rule over some trialists in the fixtures with Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division sides Thetford and Walsham.
Bury have been handed home draws in the first qualifying rounds of the FA Cup and the FA Trophy.
The Blues host Thurrock, Felixstowe and Walton United or Saffron Walden Town in the FA Cup on September 14 and welcome Dereham Town to Ram Meadow for an FA Trophy encounter on October 19.
“We’ve got to be happy that both games are at home,” said Wilkins.