Sam Ricketts: Places up for grabs at Shrewsbury Town
There are no guaranteed starting spots in Shrewsbury Town’s first team next season, insists boss Sam Ricketts.
Ricketts has laid down the challenge for his squad to catch the eye and win themselves a spot in his side when League One action returns later this year.
Between four and five months will have passed since they last trained together by the time players are likely to re-convene and the Shrews boss says the slate has been wiped clean.
The boss, who has said he will make tweaks to his squad this summer rather than wholesale changes, said his players must prove themselves.
“It goes with all players,” Ricketts said. “Every season starts with a fresh slate, no player has got their name on any shirt for the first game of the season.
“Every player has to prove themselves and prove worthy of getting the shirt.
“Every shirt is up for grabs.”
One member of Ricketts’ Shrewsbury squad expected to push in a bid to catch the eye for next season is academy graduate Ryan Barnett, 20, who recently signed a new one-year deal with the club.
Talented attacker Barnett, who has been at the club for more than half of his life, is highly regarded at Montgomery Waters Meadow and has impressed in two spells with neighbours AFC Telford United.
He has so far played just two minutes of league action for Salop.
Ricketts, who spent a successful stint with Telford in the fledgling stages of his playing career, admits the challenge for Barnett is now proving his qualities in Town’s first team.
“Barney is a good lad with good attributes,” the boss added. “Physically he’s very good, a good athlete, we’re keen to see how his progression goes.
“He’s done well at Telford, it’s now about whether he steps up and challenges higher up.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that AFC Telford United groundsman George Conway has left the Bucks to take up the same role at Shrewsbury Town.
Lilleshall-based George, son of long-serving Telford groundsman Mick, has been sharing the role with his dad for the last two seasons.
He completed his final day at the New Bucks Head yesterday. George tweeted: “After two years my time at Telford has come to an end.
“It’s been great to work with my dad! Thank you to everyone that has made my time at the club extremely enjoyable.”
Mick will remain in place as Telford groundsman.