NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town set for a summer of change as only five players are offered new deals to stay
- Credit: Archant
Ruthless Ricky Marheineke is ringing the changes at St Ives Town following a season of struggle.
The local side endured a miserable Southern League Premier Division campaign in 2017/18. They finished third-bottom and would ordinarily have been relegated but for a restructure of the non-league system which led to only the basement side going down.
Only five members of the Saints squad that completed last term have been offered new deals at ProEdge Westwood Road for next season in the new Central Divsion. They are goalkeeper Tim Trebes, defenders Daniel Moyes and Charlie De’Ath, wideman Declan Rogers and striker Dubi Ogbonna.
Teenage defender Jamie Short, who made a handful of appearances before going out on loan to Step 6 side March Town, will also feature in a new-look squad being put together by Marheineke and new assistant boss Craig ‘Bully’ Adams.
“The priority is on recruiting rather than retaining players this summer,” said Marheineke. “It was very clear we had to make changes after having such a difficult season and that process is now happening.
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“Myself and Bully are very confident in the direction we want to take the squad and we’re pleased with how things are progressing.
“We’re not going to announce new arrivals at this stage as we can’t officially sign players until July 1, but I can assure the supporters that we’re working very hard behind the scenes.
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“The door also remains open for those existing players not offered deals as yet to come in during pre-season and impress us.
“We’ll see who does that and wants to be part of the club going forward, and who doesn’t.”
Striker Ogbonna faces knee surgery later this month and will face a fight to be fit for the start of the new campaign.
He will certainly missed a large chunk of a pre-season training schedule which begins on July 3 and features seven summer friendlies.
They are against Soham Town Rangers (home, July 10), Peterborough Sports (home, July 14), Kempston Rovers (away, July 17), Hartley (home, July 21), Wisbech Town (away, July 24), Bedford Town (home, July 28) and former tenants Cambridge City (home, August 4).
The new campaign then begins on July 11.