Last week, the club announced it’s retained/released list. No-one was surprised with the majority of those released, and with a good core of the squad either under contract, or with options taken up by the club, there are only 5 players who have been offered deals, so let’s take a look.
It is a strange one, normally we are sat hoping that those offered deals will actually stay with us, however it does feel as though this season, we might not be losing players to better deals elsewhere. First up, Danny Guthrie. Danny has split opinion, we all know he is a fantastic player, and the stats don’t lie, we have won more games when he is in the team. However, the dividing opinion is his fitness concerns. We have all seen that clubs will have to trim squads down, and they will require players who can stay fit and fulfil the season ahead. However, what Guthrie brings to the squad makes him worth it, in my opinion, so I think a new deal is a good decision. I also feel he continue to be a great role model for Alfie Bates, and could really help his development. I do think Guthrie will stay at the club. He has no reason to leave, and realistically I cannot see him going up a league either.
Callum Cockerill-Mollett, showed that he is a good solid player at this level. He had a very mixed season. Playing wise, he started to stake a claim for more first team action, however he also suffered an unfortunate run of injuries that stopped him from playing more. At 21, he is still a very young player. We all saw his talents and we all know that he is adaptable to play LB, or the left side of a defensive 3. His flexibility is something DC will want going forward, as having players like CCM will allow him to change formations during games, as well as match to match. My final word for CCM, is that he grew as a player the more he had a run in the team, and with no LB other than him, we could well see CCM feature more next season, which will undoubtedly aid his development. CCM has been at the club for a number of years, and I can’t see him wanting to leave when he is on the cusp of the first team squad.
Sam Perry and Joe Willis, were offered professional deals long before the retained list was announced. Although neither have officially accepted yet, both took to twitter at the time to express their joy of being offered the deals, so I would expect both to sign. I am glad both have been offered deals, and hopefully they can feature more next season. Clearly both are very highly thought of, and it is credit to the coaching staff that they have grown so much over one season. Tom Leak is another young player who has been offered a deal. Leak made the bench once this season, but with Kory Roberts leaving, I feel we will see Leak making steps into the squad more over the course of next season. Like with Perry and Willis, Leak is highly thought of, and clearly DC thinks he ready to make the step up.
Overall, I am happy with those that have been offered deals, none really surprised me. My hope is that the younger players are tied down for longer, as going forward, the more youth products we have, the better the depth in our squad.