One Step Forward, Two Back: Steve's Challenge
Just when the team looks like it could be about to come together with some new signings, there's a sting in the tail.
Gary Roberts and Danny Woodards, two ever present players last season and debatably two of the better players in the team, have both been transfer listed after discussing their future with the club.
Gary Roberts has just 12 months on his contract whilst Woodards, with another two years, has been linked with the Premiership, and there in lies the problems. The club will be looking to cash in on both, hopefully recouping a good £400k-500k for the two.
It typifies the toughness in the job that Steve Holland has not only this summer but for the foreseeable future. Not only is it difficult to attract players but it's just as difficult to keep them here.
Holland's clearly ambitious to get building a side that within 2 or three years can be challenging in the top six of League One again. Money is hopefully being spent, possibly more than has been spent in the past 5 or 6 years. It's all a bit of a kick in the teeth though when your better players wish to leave.
Let's not talk about Roberts here. It seemed pretty clear he was off midway through last season when he was disciplined twice by the club, not many will be too upset at seeing him and the disruption which follows leave the club.
News of Woodards's request meanwhile came as a surprise. He has been linked with Premiership clubs since he signed from Exeter for a mere £30,000 but having seen his form tail off towards the end of last season, it was hard to see that lucrative move being imminent.
Maybe though someone will take a chance are what will now be a knocked down price. Being our best defender it will be a massive blow to lose him. The full back spots were possibly the strongest position at the club, Maynard aside, but now Steve Holland's very long wish list will be extended further.
Whilst the manager has changed, and arguably the ambition at the top of first team duties has increased, one thing will remain and that will be the battle to keep any decent player at the club.