ILKESTON FC secured new contracts for three more of their promotion-winning squad this week as planning for next season continued at pace.
The Robins have added winger Will McCall, centre-half Dan Partridge and left-back Ryan Wilson to the growing list of players staying on next year, with the club keen to keep the nucleus of the successful side together.
The trio of signings have joined Gary Ricketts, Daryll Thomas, Russell Cooke, James Reid and Andrew Osei-Siribour in agreeing to stay, with more expected to follow in due course.
Manager Kevin Wilson said: “Things are starting to take shape and I’m optimistic that a few more members of last season’s squad will shortly commit to staying with us.
“I’ve already said that ideally I want to keep together the nucleus of last season’s squad because most of the players are young and will continue to improve.
“McCall, Partridge and Wilson certainly come into that category and I’m delighted that they’ve agreed to stay.”
McCall was a revelation on the flanks for Ilkeston both in the early and latter stages of the season, with injury keeping him on the sidelines throughout most of the winter.
Partridge struggled to maintain a place in the team initially but eventually made the centre-back berth alongside Russell Cooke his own, while manager’s son Wilson improved dramatically as the campaign wore on and expressed his delight at signing a new deal.
“Left-back was not my natural position and it took me some time to adapt, but I have worked through it and felt I got better towards the end of the season,” he told the club’s official website.
“It has been satisfying to turn things around and be part of a successful team – not just doing things for your own benefit but to help the rest of the lads.
“I would like to thank all the fans for the support they’ve given the boys this season and hopefully they will keep coming out in their numbers next season as well.”
Of McCall and Partridge, manager Kevin Wilson added: “Obviously other clubs are well aware of Will’s capabilities and it was inevitable that people would try to turn his head.
“But he enjoys it at Ilkeston - especially now that he’s finally free from injury - and I think it’s a good decision on his part to stay with us.
“Dan improved a massive amount last season and certainly played his part in the promotion success.
“We kept seven clean-sheets in our final ten matches, which speaks for itself.”
l For an in-depth interview with Robins manager Kevin Wilson and chairman Dave Mantle, see next week’s edition of the Ilkeston Advertiser.