Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale PlayerHD after confirming his retained list on Tuesday afternoon…
“You’re always planning and you’re always looking to improve. You want to retain players and you want to engage in negotiations on extending contracts but the really sad implications of today are that players will lose opportunities with respect to contracts not being renewed.
“It’s difficult for me as a manager because I have a good working relationship with most, if not all, the players. It’s sad because there are one or two players that I have grown very, very close to and I’ve made an impact on their foreseeable future in a negative way, although I have made an impact on some in a positive way. I don’t like doing the job that I do today.”
The club have invoked options on Jamie Allen, Joe Bunney, James Hooper, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Donal McDermott and Joe Rafferty, extending their stay at the club.
“It’s good management. I think the players realise that when they’re being given opportunities that, to a certain degree, the contract set-up is in the favour of the football club, but I think we have all been benefactors of the contracts that we struck with those players.
“And long may the good house-keeping that myself, the staff, Colin Garlick and the Board of Directors continue, because it has served us really well. Those players will be key and integral to next season and we’re expecting a lot more from James Hooper.
“We are pleased to have been able to invoke those options and we are looking forward to going into next season with what I consider to be a very strong nucleus of players.
"I want to add to those group of players over the course of the next six, eight, or even twelve weeks, and that’s where it’s important that you remain patient. We won’t go down and sit outside the Argos shop window because the summer sales are on and panic buy with respect to the first door opening.”
New deals have been offered to Calvin Andrew, Ashley Eastham, Olly Lancashire and Josh Lillis.
“It’s like anything, the players are going to exercise their right to see what options are out there. It’s not always going to be positive – unfortunately it will be for those players to decide whether the opportunity benefits their long term futures.
“I think most of those players have had good seasons and they give us the stability to take the club into next season. But, if for whatever reason these players decide not to sign their contracts, then there’s an ocean of players available to come in and re-stimulate what is already a strong core of players going into next season.”
Brian Barry-Murphy and Steve Collis have extended their player-coach contracts. Hill says the emphasis of their roles will be on coaching.
"It’ll be a more coach-player role.
“I think it’s important that Steve retains the ability to play and to cover where and when if needed.
“The same with Brian Barry-Murphy. I think he needs to be respected and appreciated more as a coach than a player, but he will still retain those training ground situations where he has to train to be a coach in transition.
“I want him to coach through playing - while we’re playing the games and while we’re doing the training session. That’s where it’s important that Brian retains his fitness and his ability to coach while training.”
to see the retained list in full.HEREClick
. Dale PlayerHDThe 13 minute interview is available to view on