Newmarket Town manager Michael Shinn on the hunt for new players after 10 of last year's squad commit for next season
Twelve months ago Newmarket Town’s player-manager Michael Shinn was unsure as to which players would be remaining with the club for the following season.
It was an uncertain period as a number of the squad that finished ninth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division in 2017/18 were reluctant to commit their futures to the Bloorie.com Stadium.
However, there will be less uncertainty about Shinn’s summer this time around, with 10 members of last term’s set up having already agreed to stay put.
“Last year there were few players that wanted to commit straight away for a variety of reasons,” said Shinn.
“This time we hoped it would be different and, thankfully, it has been. This squad has improved and grown together, so it is great they are sticking together.
“It is important to get players tied down early on because these things can drag on and cause a lot of uncertainty.
“I think the lads can see the direction we want to go in. There are some good characters in the dressing room and they know what needs to be done next season.
“Hopefully as a group they trust us as a management team as much as we trust them.”
With most of last season’s squad committed – bar defender Casey Phillips, who has joined Mildenhall Town – it will allow Shinn to focus more on the recruitment side of things.
The 2018/19 campaign was an inconsistent one for Newmarket, who finished 10th of 20 teams, winning 15 and losing 17 of their 38 Premier Division fixtures.
And Shinn is well aware of the type of player he is looking to bring in to help find some consistency going forward.
“We missed a few leaders at times last season,” he added.
“If you look at the sides that get out of this league or get close to that, they have a lot of experience in their sides.
“We have a lot of talented young lads who have just completed their first full season at this level.
“They have dealt with that well, but we need some players who will do the ugly side of things when it gets touch.
“We scored more than 100 goals in all competitions but conceded something like 80, which shows we were a little naive at times.
“I do not want to lose that attacking mindset or restrict the players from having freedom; we just need to bring in a couple to help with getting the right balance.”
The arrivals started this week in the shape of midfielder James Seymour, who was Mildenhall’s fourth highest appearance maker in the Bostik League North Division last season.
Seymour, who has also played for Ely City, previously spent a year with Newmarket after joining in October 2016.