Player-manager Michael Shinn hopeful of keeping Newmarket Town squad together
Newmarket Town player-manager Michael Shinn is hopeful the majority of last season’s squad will opt to remain with the club.
The now expunged 2019/20 campaign was a largely positive one for Shinn’s men, who were second for a number of weeks before dropping down to fourth when the coronavirus pandemic forced a halt to the action.
They had racked up a total of 51 points, which is the same as they managed playing 11 more games in 2017/18, as well a beating their win tally from the previous term 16-15.
It all points to a positive future, with Shinn confident he only needs to add one or two players to his options for whenever football gets the green light to resume.
“Being in lockdown with not a lot to do has given me the chance to chat to the lads about the plans for next season, whenever that happens,” he said.
“I would like to think they want to stay and nobody has given me any indication yet they are planning on leaving.
“I am sure some of them will have offers, but we are keen for everyone to stay.
“If we can do that, then all we need is one or two players to freshen things up and provide a bit of extra competition.
“They will have to be the right player for the right money because we already have a strong squad.”
With the decision to null and void the season ensuring big-spending Stowmarket Town will remain in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Shinn has conceded his and every other side are likely to be battling it out for second place.
“Everyone will probably be aiming for that second place,” said the midfielder.
“That is a bit of a shame because it looked to me to be a no-brainer to promote Stowmarket – they deserved it. I understand it was easier with the other leagues ending as well, but it does not feel right.
“I expect it to be even more competitive behind them. The likes of Godmanchester could come back into it and Brantham seem to be getting sorted under Michael Brothers.
“For us, it is a case of how close can we get to Stowmarket? That might mean finishing fourth or fifth, but can we close the gap?
“We want to sustain this season and build upon what we have done. We want to prove that it was just a one-off or one good season – this is the standard.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella