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SWINDON TOWN: Out-of-contract stars must play waiting game
SWINDON Town’s out-of-contract stars may not have their fate decided until the end of the season, as manager Kevin MacDonald waits to discover what level his side will be playing at next term.
Nine of the Robins’ first-team squad, including regular starters Nathan Thompson, Aden Flint, Alan McCormack and Simon Ferry, see their current deals expire in the summer and, while MacDonald has been impressed by each and every one of them since arriving at the club on March 1, he still wants to bide his time before making a final decision.
The Advertiser understands the club’s board intend to sit down with several of those who will become free agents come July in the next few weeks to discuss the possibility of new deals, but MacDonald was non-committal regarding a timeframe when the subject was discussed at his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Notts County tomorrow.
He said: “Obviously we’d like to keep them and the good thing for them is that they’re playing very well. I think this football club would like to keep them and it will be down to when we’ve sussed out where we are - whether it’s this division or the next division - we can start talking about contracts.
“The monetary side is a lot different when you’re in the Championship. All the players that I’ve seen so far are worthy of playing for Swindon Town and worthy of playing in the Championship.
“The big focus for me is can we get promotion. If we do get promotion then we can sit down and look at all those things. There are a few out of contract, there are a few of the younger ones out of contract so we’ve got to see where we are.
“If it’s in the Championship it might be a different calibre of player that we require. Nothing is being thought of or spoken about at the moment.”
Ferry and McCormack are believed to have options of extensions to their time at Town built into their contracts but others, like Thompson, do not - meaning they could leave on the cheap in the summer.
MacDonald accepted losing his better players would be a blow but he emphasised how good money for the club and the lure of higher-tier football for the player is sometimes very hard to turn down.
He said: “We’ve got to look at where we are. In the position we are in the third tier of English football, if a club comes knocking on the door for one of our players to go to a higher level the chances are you’d have to sell them because of the money for the club and the fact that the player would want to go and challenge themselves.
“It becomes very difficult to keep players when that sort of thing happens. The great thing for me is if we were to get promotion then those players get a bit more of a chance to be spotted by bigger clubs.
“As much as we want to keep them we have to be aware of that and we are very aware of that, but there’s nothing we can do about that.”