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Calderwood - "It was a tough call"

Posted on: Thu 11 May 2006

Colin Calderwood













Colin Calderwood admitted it was a tough decision to not renew the contracts of five players.

"There haven't been any offers to David Rowson, Gavin Johnson, Jason Lee, Matthew Gearing, Luke Graham and Jamie Hand. Luke's time at Forest Green has come to an end and Jamie has gone back to his registered club of Fisher Athletic," he said.

"We have made offers to all of the rest of the boys and they now have until June 20 to consider those. During that time we have to just sit on our hands a little bit while we wait to see if they accept or reject the terms they have been offered.

"We have got a budget for next season and although it would have been very easy to offer the whole group something that wouldn't give us much room for manoeuvre in terms of bringing people in.

"David and Gavin both did exceptionally well for us towards the end of the season and because they have done so well for us over a period of time it was a very hard decision not to offer them anything.

"I think every team will be looking at strikers because they make the difference but we will have a good look through the whole team and a lot really depends on whether or not the players we've offered terms stay because if they decide to go elsewhere you have obviously got to replace them.

"We have got our targets but that will be an ongoing process throughout the summer. We want to keep the vast majority of the group we've got here together and if we can just add one or two that would make us very strong.

"Its been documented through the season that teams have been looking at Luke Chambers but we haven't received any concrete offers for him. As the season has gone on we have made him three or four offers and if he were to stay it would certainly enhance him not to his detriment.

"If he were to leave I think the club would be well covered in terms of compensation and if there were a number of clubs in for him that increases your bargaining power. I think he will definitely play at a higher level in his career but we are still hopeful that he will stay.

"Lee Harper and Mark Bunn are both quite close to agreeing terms and the majority of the defence is already under contract. There is an element of doubt about the midfield and up front and this is a bit of an uncertain time with the ball really in the players court.

"We are closer to agreeing deals with some of the players than others and we are not too far away with three of them. We are a bit further away on another two or three but until they have actually signed I don't really want to say who we are closer to agreeing terms with.

"We are still trying to persuade Ian Taylor to stay on with us next season but until anything is signed and sealed I would say there is still an element of doubt but as we stand now I think we have got a very good chance of keeping him.

"This week have been really hectic but most of our work over the next few weeks will be done on the phone so I probably won't be in the club quite so much. I go away on holiday a week on Sunday and ideally before I go I would like to think the majority of the deals we've offered will have been accepted.

"Stability is the key word for me and I don't really want to be scrambling round late on bringing players in. We knew who we wanted last year but we did bring a couple of players in late on that were a real bonus.

"I think the main difference next season will be that teams will come here to beat us where as this season the majority of teams have come with a more defensive structure to their game and we will look forward to being the underdogs.

"The reality is that how you start the season isn't too important, Reading lost their first game this season and Southend won one of their first five and they both won the league.

"Southend have done very well this season but I am focused on what we do because that is what is important. With the squad we had this year I always knew we had a chance, people ranted and raved a bit at the start of the season but in the end the quality of the squad shone through and their togetherness was ultimately the reason why we went up."

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