Thursday, May 17, 2012

9 Depart In Rovers Clear Out

The official Rovers retained list has been revealed this afternoon and as we anticipated there were no real surprises. In fact, the retained list I compiled last week is almost symmetrical to the real thing.

After 6 years loyal service Welshman Byron Anthony has been released and according to reports he has a number of suitors. He's been a top servant to this club and departs with the respect of all Gasheads, something Mark McGhee acknowledges. I'd like to add my best wishes to the 'Lord' in the rest of his career, hopefully he can return to the Mem (or the UWE) one day and receive a warm Gas welcome for his efforts.

Alongside Anthony's departure is forward Scott McGleish who has been with the club since last summer, goalkeeper Lance Cronin, defender Michael Boateng and academy products Charlie Reece, Charlie Clough, Lamar Powell, Darren Jeffries and James Dale. Kayne McLaggon has not been offered a new deal as yet but has been invited back to pre-season training and will be given every chance to prove he's worthy of a contract.

Mark McGhee
New terms have been offered to Jim Paterson and Danny Woodards, whilst Wayne Brown has also been offered a fresh short-term deal to prove his worth to McGhee. In his interviews with the official site and BBC Radio Bristol, MM seems confident that those who he wishes to keep at the club will still be here next year. An interesting note is his claim that he's trying to build a 'League One side' here to give us the best chance of getting promotion so that when we get there no major surgery is required. He wants a squad of at least 20 outfield players who can justify being called first-team regulars, so we'll see plenty of permanent movement on top of the return of certain loanees. There was also a hint that players who didn't feature as prominently at the end of the season; Chris Zebroski, Craig Stanley and Joe Anyinsah, could leave if another club showed an interest in signing them. McGhee understandably didn't want to commit to their departures as they are still under contract, but he certainly gave the impression they were free to look elsewhere. Aaron Downes has not been offered anything as of yet as consideration needs to be made in regards to how many centre backs we need at the club. Michael Poke is not on the list of targets either as Scott Bevan and Conor Gough have been given the morale boosting news that they will be our two goalkeepers heading in to our League Two campaign in August.

Combining his thoughts today with what he said on Tuesday and I think it's safe to assume recruitment will be busy this summer. I hope MM doesn't bottle out of making the improvements that we need to really push on at the top of this division in 2012-2013 because I believe we have a successful year if we strengthen adequately.

Up the Gas!

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