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Pre-season get's us underway again
July 1st is generally seen as the day when the new season can really get underway as the final player contracts expired at the end of June. It’s a strange kind of time as some clubs and players don’t hold back in letting everyone know who they signed for and others seem to put a block on letting fellow clubs and players announce their new surroundings, odd in my opinion when that player is no longer going to be there.
Twitter has been awash with new signings everywhere and players announcing their time is up with various clubs at the same time, some very good players moving around, big gains for some and big losses for others.
With almost 1000 players out of contract from the Premier League down to the National League I still maintain there will an influx of good quality having to make their way down the pyramid because clubs won’t hold huge numbers of players simply because they can’t afford to.
There are players who after the return to pre-season training this week for a majority of clubs, are currently without a home and already a week behind in fitness levels. Pre-season is very crucial more than ever now to hit the ground running, those arriving late on don’t always get in sync with the rest of the squad and it can really hamper performances for those late starters.
With the season starting for Steps 5 and 6 in less than 30 days’ time I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see some players arriving at those levels a few days into the season simply because they can’t get game time anywhere else. Some I know will hang on and wait to see if intended targets of others don’t come off and there a gap or some budget space, manager’s realising one or two games in they are lacking something still.
It's a risky gamble in my opinion and something where not all agents are getting a decent deal for their clients. The better ones will of course manage to persuade clubs to take their player, on a good wage, a good contract and generally looking good to the outside world. But there are plenty out there who think the whole game is awash with money and those are comfortably going to be the ones who are desperately searching for club as the countdown to the new season ticks ever closer.
Of course I could be miles off the mark but with a lot of lower level clubs opting to take a youngster on loan from a Premier League or Football League club it squeezes the window even tighter and no doubt come October or November we’ll be hearing of those who’ve had to find a new career or venture abroad to get themselves still involved in the game, there’s no shame in dropping down the ladder to go back up, sometimes easier to be seen away from the spotlight.
With July very much in its infancy there’s still plenty more to happen as managers tweak their squads, find a last minute bargain or the chairman bungs another few quid into the budget and everyone’s smiling, well at least you hope they are……