Brian Barry-Murphy has offered his thoughts on his retained/released list which was announced last week.
The Dale boss offered new deals to seven players whose contracts are up in the summer, and whilst he is hopeful of securing their signatures, he says he is very comfortable in being patient with them.
“I think we’re very close to having a couple of those players commit themselves to the Club,” said Barry-Murphy.
“This stage of the season has evolved over the years. In my early days in football, things were always concluded during the season and players would have contracts running on to next season.
“Now, there’s always this lull after the season where players assess where they are and assess what’s available elsewhere.
“I’m very comfortable being patient for those players and we’ve offered them what we think are very good contracts at the Football Club.
“It’s just a case of waiting for them and seeing if they’re happy with what we’ve offered them, then we can progress from there.
“We have seven players who we’ve been negotiating with, and hopefully over the next three or four weeks there will be good news on that front. If there isn’t, we’ll move on to other targets that we’ve identified.”
Of the players out of contract this summer, Bradden Inman and Jordan Williams were informed they wouldn’t be offered new deals.
“It’s a very difficult time of the year. On a personal level, we had to speak to players about affecting their livelihoods and their ways of earning a living.
“They were guys that I worked with very closely from a development point of view. We had personal relationships, so to go down that route where I had to tell them that they were being released was difficult.
“But it was straightforward on a performance level, and those players themselves will probably be keen to push on pursue things elsewhere.
“They hadn’t had the opportunities to perform towards the end of the season and I think they felt a new challenge was going to be good for them too. I think it will work well for them.
“They’re two excellent players who have been outstanding in different periods for the Club and obviously possess different qualities. I’m sure they’ll do exceptionally well wherever they show up next season, and no doubt will attract interest from plenty of takers.
“The end of the season was so rewarding that the players who had the shirts, kept the shirts over that period of time.
“So, for the likes of Bradden and Jordan who ended up being out of the squad at a critical stage of the season where they couldn’t get back in the team, it was frustrating.
“They conducted themselves in an excellent manner and were part of the community that helped the Club secure its League One status. I couldn’t speak highly enough of both players.
“They have different qualities from a playing perspective, but are both outstanding individuals, and I think both could be excellent in whatever Club they turn out for.”
Professional contracts have also been offered to four second-year scholars, in Florent Hoti, Harrison Hopper, Lewis Bradley and Fabio Tavares.
“They’re four very exciting players that I’ve worked with closely in between the Youth Team, with Chris Brown and Lee Riley, and under Keith Hill & Chris Beech.
“Now I’ve taken over, it gives me an advantage in that I’ve seen those players develop very quickly and very closely.
“From my own experience of being in their shoes and working with players of that age, it’s very important that there’s no pressure on them in terms of what they can and should achieve in the first season.
“They should almost be left to develop unnoticed and spring upon you by surprise. The less pressure and less expectation we put on these players, the more they can develop quickly and surprise you.
“Whilst I was very keen to emphasise to those players that they haven’t been offered professional contracts as a token gesture, I believe they’ve been offered it on merit and I’m very excited for the supporters to see those players develop.
“I think they have to be allowed to develop in their time. I believe they can spring in to the first team environment and I wouldn’t surprised if they did make first-team appearances at any stage in the season really.
“Young players can surprise you and can be very exciting very quickly, and that’s what we aim to do.
“It’s not in my mindset to send them out on loan. They’re here to work with our squad, they’re our players.
“We’re very keen to develop our own structure and we’ve got a clear pathway of how we develop players in the Academy, through our Youth Team and coming in to our first-team environment, and we’re all immensely proud of that as a Club.
“I don’t see any reason why, after giving players a professional contract, we should think about loaning them out. It’s very important that they become entwined in what we do as a first-team group, and show them the pathway and transition between Youth Team football and first-team football, and make them comfortable with that as soon as we can.
“The thought process, in terms of going out loan, there’s obviously a reason for that as the season develops, but initially they’ll be with us every single working as first-team players.
“I think it’s very important that they’re treated as first-team players. They’ve earned this opportunity through hard work, dedication and their skill, so at the moment the loan idea isn’t there for those players.”
Click HERE to watch the interview on iFollow.