No rush for Poppies boss Cox in the 'club's market'

Paul Cox believes it will be a “club’s market” once the hunt for new players gets fully under way this summer.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 7:15 am
Kettering Town manager Paul Cox has started his preparations for next season

The Kettering Town boss got his preparations for next season under way this week with eight of last season’s squad being offered new deals.

The Poppies confirmed both Aaron O’Connor and Dan Nti have been released while Connor Kennedy, Tre Mitford and Michael Richens remain under contract.

The likes of Michael McGrath, Lindon Meikle, Ben Milnes, Brett Solkhon, Gary Stohrer, Paul White, Luke Graham and Marcus Kelly have all been offered fresh terms after playing key roles in the club’s battle for survival in the National League North.

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Brett Solkhon and Ben Milnes are two players who have been offered fresh terms by Kettering Town for next season. Picture by Peter Short

Cox revealed he hopes to have answers, one way or the other, from those players at the start of next week before he begins the task of adding new faces to his squad.

The Poppies manager confirmed he has targets in mind but insists he will be working to the “wage structure” the club’s board has put in place.

“We have made players offers and what I have said to them is to have a really good think about it,” Cox said.

“I usually give players a week to digest what is on offer. I have been a player myself so I understand they might want to look elsewhere and do the figures and everything else.

“I want players to be here for the right reasons and not because they can earn £25 more here or there.

“I spoke to all the lads individually and it’s up to them to now go away and then come back with a yes or no.

“I will be expecting an answer from them by early next week and that way, I can plan accordingly in terms of what needs to be added to the squad.

“It’s a strange time but every club will be talking to agents and players just to get a feel of things.

“At this present time, there’s not a lot of movement in the system but I do feel that because of the economic climate out there that there will be a lot of players available this summer.

“I won’t be rushing into anything. We need to get the people who we feel will improve us and who want to be here.

“But that’s also got to come within our wage constraints.

“I am not going to overspend in any way, shape or form and put the club in any jeopardy. What the club has come through over the past few years can’t happen again.

“I am working to a wage structure and the club is trusting me to get the best out of it.

“There have been a lot of phone calls and touching base with agents and players but I don’t think there’s a real rush at the moment.

“We have certain individuals that we’d like to bring to the club because we want progression. I don’t want to be down where we were this season.

“But every club will be thinking the same thing and that will make it a competitive market.

“However, I think it will be a club’s market and not a player’s market from now on.

“Hopefully we can get some good players in and maybe some lads who are learning their trade and can be assets to the club.

“It’s all about us building things up slowly but in the right way."