Rose offered new Cobblers contract as Lelan and Corry are released
The Cobblers have offered midfielder Danny Rose a new contract, but have released out-of-contract pair Josh Lelan and Paul Corry.
Also being shown the Sixfields door are Chris Hackett and Evan Horwood, who have been out on loan since January, while 17-year-old academy product Shaun McWilliams has been offered a two-year professional contract.
It means Cobblers manager Rob Page has a confirmed first-team squad of 16 players as he settles into his new job, and the former Port Vale boss is pretty happy with what he has been left with.
Having only been appointed on Thursday, the 41-year-old admitted he had to listen to others’ opinions, including former manager Chris Wilder, before announcing who was staying or going.
Asked what input he had into the retained list, Page said: “Being honest, not a lot.
“Being only in the building 24 hours it would be unfair for me to cast my judgement on some of the players and their futures.
“But I have had a lot of guidance from the chairman, and I have spoken with Chrissy (Wilder) myself as well, so I have an understanding about the players.
“I think there’s not a lot wrong with the squad. It’s now about sprinkling a bit of quality in there, and helping us improve on what we did last season.”
It is no surprise Rose has been offered a new deal, while Corry missed virtually the entire season due to a knee injury, but the one decision that may raise eyebrows among the Cobblers fans is the decision to release Lelan.
After a lengthy spell out of the team, the former Derby County youngster impressed over the final few weeks of last season as he filled in at right-back in place of the injured Brendan Moloney.
“I do understand the lad has gone in and given a good account of himself and done okay,” said Page.
“From a supporters’ view it might be a little bit of a surprise, but we have made the decision as a group and what we think is best for this football club with the division we are going into.
“We want to move forward and improve, and sometimes there are tough decisions you have to make.”
Page, who will be hoping Rose accepts the offer that has been made to him, will now be concentrating on recruitment, and he says the accent will be on quality rather than quantity.
Short-term loans outside of the transfer windows are not permitted next season, and Page said: “With the rule change next season we have to go window to window, and we are going to need a big enough squad to be able to cope with that.
“We will need double positions all over, two players for each position, and that’s an area we will be looking at now.
“We will be bringing quality in to push the lads that are already in the squad.
“It is important that when they see players walk in the building that they are adding quality, and it makes them improve their game as well.”
And he added: “We are going to need two players for each position, so you can work the numbers out from that.
“If we have to use the loan market we will do it, whether it’s for six months or 12 months for the season, that might be an option we need to capitalise on.
“There’s not a lot wrong with the squad, but with the loanees that have gone back we have to decide whether to bring in lads permanently, or use the loan market.”
The proposed signing of teenager McWilliams, who featured as an unused substitute for the first team last season, will be a feather in the cap of the Cobblers Academy.
Northampton lad McWilliams, who hails from Kings Heath in the town, joined the club as an under-14 player and has progressed through the Academy structure.
“To see any young player be offered a professional contract is great news,” said Academy manager Trevor Gould.“For that player to be a local youngster is even more rewarding.
“Shaun has worked very hard over the last few years and deserves his contract.
“He got himself on the first team bench last season and showed fantastic determination and character to overcome an injury and impress everyone with his performances.”
Cobblers retained list (players under contract): Adam Smith, Ryan Clarke, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond, Ryaan Cresswell, Rod McDonald, David Buchanan, Ricky Holmes, Lawson D’Ath, Joel Byrom, John-Joe O’Toole, Jason Taylor, Alfie Potter, Nicky Adams, Marc Richards, Sam Hoskins.
Out of contract - terms offered: Danny Rose
Out of contract - released: Josh Lelan, Paul Corry, Chris Hackett, Evan Horwood
Scholar - terms offered: Shaun McWilliams