AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan all set to start planning for next season

Gavin Cowan will focus on confirming the futures of his existing AFC Telford United squad over the next week or two, writes Lewis Cox.

Telford manager Gavin Cowan
Telford manager Gavin Cowan

The Bucks this week completed the third of three trial fixtures, where Cowan ran the rule over a number of trialists in Wednesday’s contest with Birmingham City under-23s.

Manager Cowan and his group are at the end of a seven-week period that the New Bucks Head chief mapped out, where existing players and potential future ones were invited in once a week to either train or compete in trial fixtures.

But, following the midweek fixture against the Blues youngsters, the Telford chief will now make final decisions on which members of his 2020/21 squad will be retained and offered deals for next season.

Cowan has made it clear that his playing budget has been affected by Covid-19 as the club ‘cut their cloth accordingly’ again for the following season, suggesting it will be difficult to keep hold of the New Bucks Head’s top earners.

“The transparency is that we’ll always be relatively aware of who we want to retain and who it will be difficult to retain,” Cowan said.

“The lads we do retain will have to play ball with us a little bit in terms of budget, now the club is cutting its cloth accordingly again and it’s another challenge for me, part-time in a predominantly full-time league against teams with far bigger budgets.”

Telford’s season was declared null and void in February after the Bucks and a majority of their step two non-league rivals voted to bring the Covid-hit campaign to a close, while wiping all records.

Almost the entire of Cowan’s first-team squad see their New Bucks Head contracts expire at the end of May.

The only player already contracted for next season is striker Jason Oswell.

Cowan will start preparing for his fourth season at the helm, although only one – the first – has been completed. He said: “Once we draw a line in the sand we’ll make the decision about which way we’re going to go.

“It’ll rely on some of the lads we’d like to retain on them understanding the situation and how much they want to be a part of the club, and who is out there.”

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