Cobblers boss Dean Austin has admitted his decision to omit Billy Waters from last week’s pre-season training camp in Spain partly owed to the transfer speculation surrounding the forward’s future.
Austin revealed Waters had been subject to a bid from an unnamed club earlier in the summer and that played a part in his thought process when assembling a 22-man party to take to the Real Club de Golf Campoamor complex in Alicante.
He’s a great lad and he’s got a lot of qualities and while he’s here he’ll have a part to play, it’s as simple as that.
Naturally, Waters’ exclusion led many to believe that his exit from Northampton was imminent but with no move forthcoming so far, he remains a Cobblers player and Austin is happy for it to stay that way.
The 23-year-old, who signed from Cheltenham 12 months ago but spent the second half of last season on-loan at Cambridge United, was handed a brief run-out in Tuesday’s fifth pre-season friendly against non-league Barnet.
He made the most of it too by providing a timely reminder of his quality when scoring a spectacular late volley that hit both bar and post before nestling into the net 12 minutes from time, completing Town’s 3-0 victory, but despite that, Austin made no guarantees over where his future lies.
“Billy was subject to a bid early on in the summer,” he explained. “He’s a great lad and he’s got a lot of qualities and while he’s here he’ll have a part to play, it’s as simple as that.
“He’s working extremely hard. There were things that I looked at with regards to Spain and the way I shaped it up. I potentially thought something might happen with him but it didn’t.
“Now he comes back into the group and he’s here competing with every other player, trying to get himself a place in the starting XI.”