It’s not a list most football fans like to look forward too, managers can quickly become villains of the piece and have their methods questioned if the supporters top players are not offered new deals and today is no different to that.
The club itself has held off revealing the official retained list, however in this day and age of social media, so called ‘secrets’ are far from it as players who have been shown the exit are quick to say their farewells.
Of all the players supporters would have wanted to retained, defender James Jennings would have been close, if not top of, the list – yet this morning via his twitter account, the 26 year old fans favourite tweeted his thanks to supporters suggesting he is not to be offered a new deal by the club, a crying shame.
Jennings arrived from Cambridge and proved a vital boost in what evolved into the title winning side, despite injury late on t-in the campaign, Jennings provided pin-point set plays and balance in the form of a natural left-footer on the left hand side.
The former Macclesfield and Cambridge man has impressed this season too despite having to evolve into a left wing back rather than an out and out left back. In total Jennings clocked up just shy of 50 appearances, netting four goals and setting, to his count at least, fourteen goals in what has been an impressive 18 month spell at the One Call Stadium.
In tweets to supporters, Jennings confirmed it was the clubs decision to let him go which is difficult to understand considering his consistency in the side and 100% efforts. Recently, there has been a Fans Forum with chairman John Radford, in notes he has mentioned the fact next season Paul Cox will have to run with a 22 man squad, comprised majorly of players under the age of 27.
So far Sam Clucas, Ryan Tafazolli, Ollie Palmer, Adam Murray, Ritchie Sutton, Lee Beevers, Martin Riley and player of the season Matt Rhead are signed for next term, allowing Cox only fourteen more, well if you’re looking at a squad capable of stability, energy and putting together a good run of form, surely Jennings would have been part of that.
James will not struggle to find a new club and will thrive wherever he ends up, it’s a shame its not with Mansfield Town – I’m sure you’ll join us at Mansfield Matters in wishing him all the best for the future.
Another using twitter to announce his departure today is goalkeeper Ian Deakin, having not got a look-in due largely to injury, it’s no surprise he’s been let go, again we wish him the best of luck.
On the other side of the coin, is those announcing they have been offered new deals, congratulations to youngster Liam Marsden who has impressed at youth and reserve level over the past three seasons now, his efforts against Torquay and Bristol Rovers certainly warrant him getting a new deal, it’s nice to see Cox investing in home grown players who have the same ability as those at Championship clubs who come in on loan – with the aforementioned restrictions in place, perhaps Marsden will be given more of a chance to shine next term.
Going on Radford’s comments about the 22 man squad as above, Marsden agreeing a new contract takes the available slots to thirteen prior to the retained list being officially revealed. I’m sure they’ll be a few twists and turns to come over the next week or so!
Over the weekend, we’ll be compiling a blog looking at building a 22 man squad, made up from players we’d like to see retained and those who have recently been released from other clubs, if you have any suggestions make sure you send them to us via Facebook or Twitter – links are at the top of the page!
The views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and not those of Mansfield Matters or its related organisations.
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