Bury Town release list of retained players for the 2020/21 campaign with boss Ben Chenery pleased to keep 'majority'
Ben Chenery has revealed the lure of completing unfinished business at Bury Town has seen the majority of his 2019/20 squad agree to stay on for another shot at promotion.
After a strong start the Blues had maintained their place in the promotion play-off shake-up in the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division, despite a plethora of injuries, before the coronavirus pandemic saw the campaign abandoned early.
The null and void method the FA used to finish seasons below the top two tiers of the non-league pyramid ensured fifth-placed Bury will remain at Step 4 for 2020/21.
But Chenery, pictured, is pleased to see so many of his players – 15 in total with discussions ongoing with others – keen to commit themselves to completing the job whenever the 2020/21 campaign gets started.
“It has been really positive, we have been able to retain the majority of the squad from last season,” he said.
“Ryan Stafford has agreed, Joe White, Ollie Fenn, Will Gardner, Ryan Jolland, Joe Hood, Jake Chambers-Shaw, Ryan Horne, Cemal Ramadan, Ollie Hughes, Cruise Nyadzayo, Max Maughn, Joe Carden, the list goes on.
“I think the players feel there is some unfinished business and they enjoy their football at Bury and I am very pleased we have retained the core of the group.
“That will set us in good stead for the forthcoming season with probably one or two additions.
“At the moment I think it is very difficult to get that business done because, rightly so, players have other things on their mind with the current situation we are in. That will no doubt take care of itself.”
The club have revealed they took up the one-year extension option in contracts for midfielders Jolland, Horne and Chambers-Shaw, while top goalscorer Ramadan has signed a fresh one-year contract.
The remaining players, which also includes young goalkeeper George Bugg and fellow teenager Charlie Cook, have all agreed non-contract terms.
Chenery added: “I am very happy and pleased with the squad we have retained and also excited for the forthcoming season.
“I think we are improving and we have a good young squad that, hopefully, will keep getting better and better.”
There has been no official announcement on the Isthmian League’s start date, meaning the club are planning for pre-season in July, though the manager feels that is unlikely.
“I think it is going to be a big ask to be back in pre-season training in early July and starting the season in early August,” he said. “We will have to adapt and adjust accordingly in terms of what the league sets out.”
He said they are planning for some high-level opposition to come to Ram Meadow in pre-season once again, while there should also be some similar away games to lower-league sides, as in recent years.
* Meanwhile, the club’s youth section have announced their under-13 to U16 sides will be playing in the Junior Premier League East Region from next season.