As predicted, there will be wholesale changes made to the Hereford Football Club squad during the summer as only five current players are under contract for the 2019/20 National League North season.
Tim Harris, the Head of Football at Edgar Street, has confirmed that the five players retained are: Tom Owen- Evans, Kieran Thomas, Josh Gowling, Kyle Finn and Rowan Liburd. Some of the existing players are in discussions with the club about new deals, including centre-half Jordan Cullinane-Liburd who is considering a new offer.
Additionally, Keyon Reffell has fully recovered from the broken ankle he sustained at Guiseley in January and will return for pre-season training with Hereford to assess his match fitness. However, Lance Smith suffered another setback whilst playing against Spennymoor at the end of March and is awaiting a full analysis on the extent of his foot injury.
Speaking to the official club website Harris says he “understands why many fans were disappointed” by performances on the pitch, but is aiming at “putting together a squad that can push for promotion next season”.
Hereford are currently the 9th best supported club in non-league football and that brings with it expectancy levels. Harris says the club have the “same ambitions as the committed supporters who follow the team with such passion, both home and away”.
The former Newport County Director of Football went on, “I’d like to thank the supporters for the part they played in getting behind the team week-in and week-out. Everyone at the club knows how lucky we are to have the backing of such a large fan base, and one that regularly travel in such remarkable numbers despite the huge distances some of our away trips involve”.
Growing criticism surrounds the Bulls’ style of play – especially at Edgar Street, and this is something Harris insists will be addressed, “Marc and I are determined to build a squad this summer that will not only win matches, but will also play the type of football the fans want to see. We know what is required of us as we plan for next season, and we completely understand that when the 2019/20 campaign starts, we are going to be rightfully judged on the way the team performs once we have had chance to build our own squad”.
Season-tickets renewals will be available from 13 May via the club shop, whilst Early Bird offers commence on 3 June. Many supporters claim they are waiting to see what standard of signings are made before considering whether or not to buy a season ticket for the new campaign.
The Hereford head coach, Marc Richards says he is “confident” the club will provide “a competitive budget” so the management team can “identify players that can play at this level and higher, so in terms of our recruitment, it’s trying to bring in players that can be at the top of this division. If they can play at the top end of this division, then we should be confident they can compete at a higher level as well”.
Images: Steve Niblett / Hereford FC