Spencer Day writes…
It seems such a long time ago we played our last league game, but we still have another week left in May!
However, before I update, I must first send my personal condolences and sadness at the terrible news of the sudden loss of Andy Smart. I personally didn’t know Andy well and had only this season just started to get to know him, but his contribution and support to the club has been immense. His Radio coverage on the new club media was so popular and I only just saw him as he joint hosted the player awards just a few weeks ago. I know the club will be doing a proper send off tribute, but RIP Andy and thank you for everything you did to support Boro.
I’m still very disappointed at how we finished the season. To get into the Play-Off places with multiple games in hand and literally fall off a cliff is gutting. Yes, I’m aware of the injuries to key players all at the same time and a monster schedule, but I must take that into account on how we recruit this season.
Our budget will remain incredibly tight and I need to look at performances across the season and consider players that are likely to be able to play most of the games, as we can’t afford a huge squad like most clubs at this level.
As usual, negotiating is the most miserable time with agents and players and some will go for extra money that clubs will offer, but I only want players that are committed to Boro.
I’ve also learnt that despite their best efforts, the jump from Step 3 to Step 2 was substantial, so I’m really focused on established Step 2 and Step 1 players to continue our growth. This, of course, makes balancing the books and convincing players to come even harder and many difficult decisions are being made, but that’s football.
History will show we had a very good season last year and this is a great place to be. I’ve been overwhelmed with players wanting to come and take us further. So, despite us still being in May, I’m looking forward to 2023/24 already!
There is no doubt with the likes of Torquay, Yeovil, Maidstone and others this will be the toughest NLS possibly ever, but that’s also the excitement of it. We will continue to try and overachieve whilst growing and I’m confident that together the Boro have a very positive future so please spread the word!
The following players have signed deals for 2023/24 season
Returned to parent clubs
Unknown at time of writing
We say goodbye, best wishes and thanks to six players:
We took a big gamble on Kev due to the horrible injury he had the previous year and wow did it pay off! Our joint skipper was fantastic off and on the pitch and we tried absolutely everything to get him to stay and we know he found it extremely difficult to leave. Signing a division above and we wish him every success.
Ricky joined as a player two seasons ago and his experience has been a massive asset. Despite sustaining a nasty injury last season, he started his coaching journey and took on this role this season. I totally understand he wants to keep playing and living over two hours each way away from the club sadly, are massive factors in the decision that we must part. We wish him every success in the next stage of his fantastic career.
My relationship with Michael is long-standing and I’m gutted his time with Boro is over for now. Such a lovely guy that has been here on and off for many years, but we agree it’s time for a new challenge with Hungerford Town. I will miss him and hope he rediscovers the natural talent he has and returns to higher levels
Another lovely guy that despite only being here a few months, was a popular player. I was speaking to him positively, but couldn’t do anything when such a phenomenal offer came in from another club.
Leaves after his second spell. Another very committed club player, but we couldn’t agree terms and he has far superior financial offers that we won’t compete with. We will miss his charisma and wish him and his young family every happiness.
Another genuine person that although only briefly here at Boro was very popular in the dressing room and we will never forget that equaliser against runaway League winners Ebbsfleet!
So, as is common at every club, plenty of comings and goings, but a very strong starting point, particularly at the defensive end of the pitch. Discussions with players are ongoing and relentless.
With more than another month before we return to pre-season and then another five weeks before the season starts, there is so much time and I need to try and get more right than wrong. We’re in a great place and the envy of many clubs, so enjoy your Summer and I look forward to seeing you all in July and August.