Brady Stone has no intention of making wholesale changes to his Ely City squad this summer, writes Liam Apicella.
The 2016/17 campaign was a memorable one for The Robins, who finished 13th upon their return to the Thurlow Nunn League top flight, as well as reaching the last 16 of the FA Vase and the final of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup.
And, as he prepares for pre-season training to get under way this evening, Stone is looking to retain the majority of last season’s players, with only a handful of new faces required to bolster The Unwin Ground ranks.
“Like all clubs, we are looking to add some new players to freshen things up,” said Stone.
“But, we do not need to make too many changes because after Christmas last season we were very good.
“We have spoken to all of the lads and 90 per cent of them have verbally agreed to sign on, so hopefully that will get sorted after the first training.
“Any new signings will have to be right for us because we have built a good team spirit.”
Experienced captain Jamie Alsop and defender Tom Williams have already put pent to paper for next term, as has midfielder Liam Griffin.
However, doubts remain over the futures of Sam Reed and Kelvin Enaro, the latter of whom is keen to test himself at a higher level.
“Sam was brilliant for us after joining in January,” added Stone.
“He is not sure what he wants to do yet, but he should be coming to training so we are hopeful.
“Kelvin wants to try himself out at a higher club and that is fair enough.
“We will never stand in the way of a player who wants to better himself.
“We will try to help Kelvin, but if it does not work out, the door remains open for him.”
Ely are one of the clubs that took up the option to start their league campaign early, with Saffron Walden Town their visitors on Tuesday, August 1.
Stone explained: “The FA Cup is important financially to a club like us and with that starting on August 5, we wanted to get a competitive game under our belts to make sure we are ready.”