Keeping players is Saints’ top summer priority

John Frendo has a shot at goal. Picture: Leigh Page

John Frendo has a shot at goal. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City’s top priority over the summer is to fight off the advances of other clubs for its players, according to joint manager James Gray.

The Saints ended the Vanarama Conference South season with their fourth straight win on Saturday, a 3-0 victory at Hayes & Yeading, to clinch 13th in their first year back in the division.

Goals from Michael Malcolm, Steve Wales and John Frendo sealed the points.

Having taken some of the league’s top scalps this season, Gray is wary that other clubs will be pursuing his players over the summer. The manager admitted he has sent “a couple” of texts to potential targets, but his focus is on keeping his current squad.

“My main concern is trying to keep hold [of the players] we’ve got,” Gray told Saintsnet. “I know other clubs are chasing them. Whether we can keep them financially will be a problem, especially since other clubs have bigger pulling powers. “I’ve invited every single one of them back for pre-season and next week I’ll start badgering new players.”

After finishing the season top of the form guide over the last four games, City, sitting in the lower echelons of the league in terms of budget, could be one of the biggest losers over the summer.

James Comley, for instance, will be a man in demand and impressing across the midfield and centre-back in 2015.

Most Read

“I’ll never see him as a midfielder again,” joked Gray. “He can play anywhere on the pitch; he is that good. I’d be happy just to see him in a yellow shirt at the start of the season. That’s going to be my problem - persuading him to stay.”

None of the club’s players are currently contracted for the 2015/16 season.