Kettering Town have retained the services of the majority of last season’s squad for the 2014-15 Calor League Division One Central campaign.
The Poppies have confirmed that they have agreed terms with Alastair Worby, Jamie McAlindon, Steve Kinniburgh, Chris Logan, Tommy Hull, Andy Gooding, James Jepson, Josh Moreman, Jonathan Bukasa, Jake Newman and Dan Crowie for the new season.
Last season’s top scorer Dubi Ogbonna will begin the second year of his contract while the option of a second year on Jonathon Thorpe’s deal has been taken up.
Kettering have also confirmed they are “in talks” with other members of last season’s squad, which was denied promotion when they were beaten 3-2 by Slough Town in the play-off final.
It is understood those still in discussions over new deals include player-of-the-year Henry Eze, James Clifton and Elliot Sandy.
Manager Dean Thomas also confirmed his interest in bringing legendary midfielder Brett Solkhon back to the club in this week’s Northamptonshire Telegraph.
Thomas said: “I am happy with those that have agreed to stay and want to stay, but talks are still on-going.
“I believe the squad we wish to build, improve on and keep together will be a force without a doubt. We have a fantastic fanbase and our aims and aspirations are clearly based on promotion.”
Skipper Kinniburgh also confirmed next season’s target will be to go one better than the play-offs as the Poppies aim for automatic promotion.
He said: “Simply we need to go out and be the best team and win the league.
“The fans will be expecting success on the pitch this season for the first time in a few years at Kettering and we need to put ourselves under pressure to deliver”.
The number of players that have been retained this season is the most in recent history, something the chairman, Ritchie Jeune, identified as a key objective for the club.
Jeune said: “Keeping the core of the squad was as important to the board as it was to the management team.
“Starting from scratch last season cost us points early on. Hopefully any new additions will slot right in and strengthen us”.
The new season will also see the start of the club’s Under-21 team, managed by Mitch Austin, who will be playing in a United Counties League Under-21 League as well as and the Kettering Town Football Club Scholars Academy based at Kettering Science Academy for 16-18 year olds.