HELLENIC LEAGUE: Roberts keen on further contract players after Stanners commits

Swindon Advertiser: Wootton Bassett boss Jeff Roberts Wootton Bassett boss Jeff Roberts

WOOTTON Bassett have put Ryan Stanners on a contract in an attempt to ward off interest from suitors and boss Jeff Roberts is hoping to do the same with other players.

The striker was subject to a seven-day approach from fellow Hellenic League Premier Division outfit Highworth, but has now pledged his future to the Corinium-based side.

Roberts explained: “Highworth put in an approach for Ryan Stanners but he has committed to us and we’ve agreed the way forward.

“He wasn’t enjoying playing out on the left but the last few games he’s played up front and has been scoring goals.

“We spoke about a bit more money as Sam Collier has gone now so we have a bit more of a budget, and we have put him on a contract.”

Bassett had never even paid players before the start of the 2013/14 season and putting Stanners on a contract is a notable milestone, particularly given that there had been concerns that players might stop being paid at all in the second half of the campaign.

However, the club’s hierarchy have secured additional financial support from sponsors and that not only meant that Roberts was comfortable remaining in his position as boss, but also that squad members would continue to be rewarded for their efforts.

Roberts said: “We spoke to the committee about two months ago and said that as a way forward we might have to look at putting three or four players on contracts to keep other clubs away.

“We don’t want to build a side only for them to go for nothing after we’ve been paying them and this way other clubs will have to pay a bit of money if they want those players.

“I know the committee are working hard behind the scenes to get other companies on board, but it’s difficult given that we play in Ciren.”

Bassett are scheduled to travel to Wantage tomorrow - weather permitting - and Adam Corcoran is suspended while Shaun Carter (collarbone) is still two to three weeks away from fitness.

Meanwhile, Roberts has recruited former Swindon Supermarine defender Mani Randhawa and former Hungerford full-back Ryan Sealey may also sign on, while Bassett are also trying to tempt a mystery Fairford winger to join up.

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