Shrewsbury Town to sit tight on contract talks

Steve Cotterill will park future talks with his Shrewsbury Town players until the end of the season, revealed Aaron Wilbraham.

Steve Cotterill is set to make some decisions on players (AMA)
Steve Cotterill is set to make some decisions on players (AMA)

Several first-team squad members at Montgomery Waters Meadow see their contracts expire at the end of the current season.

Regulars including the likes of Ro-Shaun Williams, Shaun Whalley, Daniel Udoh and Sean Goss all see their terms expire, but assistant boss Wilbraham explained that Cotterill, who remains in Bristol recovering from illness, will not address futures until the time is right.

The manager has remained influential to first-team affairs while away, calling the shots on training, transfers, team news and tactics, but direct communications with players individually has been less during his four months away from Sundorne Castle.

“To be honest with the manager, knowing from what he did at Bristol City, he usually does it at the end of the season,” Wilbraham said.

“He’d sit down (and speak) with players and I’m sure he’ll be aiming to do that, if he can, if not then on the phone.

“But I haven’t really spoke to him about that side of it to be honest, because there’s been so much to deal with as the games have come as they have done.

“I’m sure he will be on top of that like he is on top of every other situation.”

Midfielder Goss and full-back Donald Love have enjoyed a Shrewsbury renaissance since Cotterill was appointed in late November, having been frozen out under the previous manager.

Also among the dozen or so players whose contracts expire are academy graduates Ryan Barnett and Ryan Sears.

Dave Edwards’ two-and-a-half year stay at his boyhood club after returning in 2019 is set to come to an end with the midfielder, 35, expected to have made his mind up on retirement.

Striker Leon Clarke, who is on the fringes at the Meadow and is not registered to play league football, sees his deal expire, as do Cotterill’s short-term January additions Curtis Main and David Davis, both who have played big roles since arriving.

The significant number of contracts at an end, alongside a first summer transfer window for Cotterill to put his stamp on the squad, means it is expected to be a busy summer of change.

Town players, meanwhile, are preparing for the long trip to Kent, where they face Gillingham in League One tomorrow.

Salop will travel down on two separate coaches today and players stay in individual hotel rooms to minimise the Covid-19 risk.

They are still without absent boss Cotterill, but Wilbraham revealed the boss is ‘becoming stronger by the day’ and has been exercising lightly in Yoga lessons to build up his strength ahead of gyms re-opening on Monday.

“He’s in a much more positive place and getting stronger every day,” Wilbraham said. “But we’re still being mindful and respectful of how poorly he was.

“They are weaning his medication down, and while speaking, his voice has always stayed strong, but you can tell he’s in a much more positive space.

“He’d managed to do a Yoga class for strength and conditioning, so he’s happy because he’s a really active guy, always down the gym.

“When the gyms re-open he’ll have access to a private gym where he’ll start building his strength back up. He’s excited for that and knowing him he’ll want to be back in an even better shape than before all this happened.”

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