Continuity key to Sam Ricketts' Shrewsbury Town plan
Shrewsbury Town manager Sam Ricketts is working on a basis of ‘continuity’ next season after retaining the core of his squad.
As with many Football League clubs, in years gone by Shrewsbury would often release a large chunk of their squad at the end of a season.
This year, however, 16 professionals are still under contract for the 2020/21 campaign, while five players have been offered deals.
Josh Laurent, Omar Beckles, Ryan Barnett and Cameron Gregory are still to sign those new contracts, while former Wolves goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne has put pen to paper on his.
Only four players were released by Salop and Ricketts is pleased with the opportunity of a ‘settled’ squad.
“We’re really pleased to have 16 players under contract and it’s a taken a really long time to get to that point,” he said. “I’ve been here a year-and-a-half now and it’s taken all of that time to get to this stage.
“I want a more settled squad so we have continuity every season, we can’t just keep ripping up the playing squad every year.
“Naturally we’ll always have a good turnover because of loans, but we try not to do that as much as we can because we want that base and continuity to the squad.
“We’re looking to add pieces to it, rather than rebuild the whole squad.
“We’re planning ahead, although we can’t put dates to it because we don’t know when the season is going to start.
“No-one has ever lived in these times before so we’ve not had to go through it, whatever your business is or life in general. You have to be very adaptable and ready to change at any time, but regardless of a lack of dates, you have to have an idea of what you want to do.
“We need to do everything to get as ready as we can.”
Meanwhile, Ricketts is also pleased with the blend of ages and experience in his squad, which includes a 34-year-old Dave Edwards alongside young forward Charlie Caton.
“We have a good mixture of youth and experience, but it’s not happened by chance,” he added.
“When you’re putting a squad together you look at the ages, what each character brings to the squad, you don’t just want experience or just have youth.
“You try and have that blend which I think we have just about right at the minute.
“The basis of the squad is there and we’re just adding to it bit by bit before the season starts.”