Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins believes the Blues need to move quickly to build the foundations of a team for next season.
Speaking after the Ram Meadow-based outfit lifted the Suffolk Premier Cup for the third time in four years on Tuesday, Wilkins expects discussions between himself, chairman Russell Ward and the players to begin this week.
“If it hangs around then I think it could be a tough summer, but if we get the four or five we want to sign signed then I think the rest will follow suit,” said Wilkins. “You need your foundations to build a team round — we know what those foundations are, it’s just a case of whether they’re going to stay or not and hopefully they will.”
Bury’s players are being rewarded for their loyalty with a day at the races
tomorrow and to continue the celebration of their 4-1 victory against Felixstowe and Walton United at The MEL Group Stadium in Sudbury.
“They have stuck with us through all the problems this season and the young lads have come in and done well, so this is courtesy of the club,” said chairman Russell Ward.
However, the hard business of trying to get key
players signed for next season will then begin, with captain Tom Bullard and goalkeeper Marcus Garnham expected to be among those the Blues are most keen to sign up.
One player who could be leaving though is Suffolk Premier Cup final hero Anthony Roulston.
“It’s been tough for him,” said Wilkins. “He’s a lad who’s come over from Australia and has spent a year with us.
“Physically, he’s had a massive learning curve and got better.
“We’re going to sit down and chat with him, but he’d be happy if he went home now because he’s learned so much.
“He’s from the other side of the world and missing his girlfriend.”
Ward will be in charge of the playing budget this summer, in conjunction with Wilkins — a change from vice-chairman Phil Smailes and director of football Trevor Collins, who took charge of contract negotiations for the last two years.
“I will work with the management,” confirmed Ward. “I want to be more hands on than I have been the last two years.
“There’s no reason why we can’t get the agreement of players because there’s a budget in place.”
The chairman also expects to bring this year’s AGM forward from the end of July in a bid to get ahead of the game with off-the-field issues and a planned restructure of the board for next season, while he is hopeful increased commercial activity can add to the playing budget during the summer.
n Bury Town’s end-of-season presentation will take place in the Ram Meadow clubhouse on Saturday, May 10 (7.30pm) — tickets are available for £10 each by calling Ward on 07712 108067.
n Bury Town SuperDraw week 48: £1,000 H Rushton; £150 M Wood; £100 J Burgon; £75 H F Tabberer; £50 D France, R Cleet; £25 A F Mills, E Atkinson, P Blackwell, M Goode. Birth date drawn: 05/10/56, no winners. Next week: £500.