Doncaster Rovers open contract talks with group of players
Doncaster Rovers have opened talks with a group of out of contract players they wish to keep beyond the end of the season, boss Andy Butler has revealed.
Ten players will reach the end of their contracts in the summer and Butler has presented to the board his current thoughts on the futures of each individual.
Conversations have already taken place with those he is certain he wants to remain at the club.
“We’ve started contract talks and we’ll speak to the players individually and put across what we’d like to do next season and going forward,” he said.
“Hopefully we can have a good dialogue with the players because I want a squad for next season that is ready and settled to go and not a chopped and changed side.
“There is a group of players that we will speak to quickly about the strategy of how we go.
“We’ll speak to the players we feel we want to extend now.
“And then there will be players in that bracket where we’re not unsure but they have still got to improve.
“I will not close the door on anyone. There will be talks to be had with players and it would be unfair to say there are players that are going to be released.
“I’ve got to make decisions but myself and the staff have got a good idea over who we want to keep and there’s still room for improvement on others.”
Though Butler’s future as Rovers boss beyond the end of the season is unknown, he has been given the power over contract discussions.
“They have given me full opinion and full control on this,” he said.
“I’ll sit down with Gavin [Baldwin, CEO] and David [Blunt, chairman] and discuss it but at the same time I’ve got to tell myself this is my job, I want this job.
“I’m going to approach this as if it is my team and I am in charge next season.
“I want to make it clear that I want this job.
“Talks have been really positive. I’ve had a good chat with David, Gavin and Adam [Henshall, head of talent identification]. It’s been positive.
“It’s been an eye-opener for me with being just a few weeks into the job but I’m now in charge of players’ futures.
“It’s not a personal thing. It’s who I want representing Doncaster Rovers whether I’m a player or a manager. I could be playing alongside them next season, hopefully I’m managing.
“But I want the best players for the Doncaster Rovers.”
Butler is hopeful of keeping a strong core of players together heading into next season and feels avoiding too much upheaval is key.
“A successful side is one that has been together for a few years,” he said.
“You see the teams near the top of the league are a couple of years into their progression.
“It’s important we stick together because we have a very good core group of players.
“It’s important we keep the core group and improve them as well by bringing in people we believe will improve the squad.
“We will do because we’ve got a good recruitment group.”