Chettle hopeful of keeping Robins stars

Steve Chettle
Steve Chettle

Steve Chettle says he is confident none of Ilkeston’s star players will want to leave the New Manor Ground this summer - unless offers come in from clubs at higher levels.

The Robins boss says he’s had no contact from other clubs regarding his star assets, nor has he had any communication from the players themselves to suggest they want to leave.

But with Chettle still to sit down and discuss terms with those he wants to keep, and with the division Ilkeston will play in next season still undecided, he remains confident of retaining the best performers from last season.

He said: “We began the season with nothing and ended it with a very strong squad which came close to winning the title.

“So I’m obviously keen to ensure we keep the best players and I’ll sit down to re-engage with all of the players that ended the season with us by the end of this week.

“I don’t see that anyone will want to leave us unless it’s to a higher level, but I’ve had no contact from clubs or players with regard to either scenario.

“As things stand, we’re still awaiting the FA’s decision on league constitutions - we’re not ruling out even being put up a level into the Midland Premier Division if the various restructuring creates openings.

“So at the moment it’s hard to assess what sort of players we might need as it may depend which division we’ll be in.”

Chettle reiterated that his priority will be to strengthen his squad rather than add to it unecessarily, saying: “The onus will be on keeping the core of the team and adding strength in depth, rather than just going like for like.”

Meanwhile, Chettle added that he has arranged four pre-season friendlies which the club will officially announce in due course, all of them away from home while the New Manor Ground pitch is re-seeded.

“We’ve had a lot of teams offering to play us in pre-season and will aim to play a couple of bigger games at the New Manor Ground once the pitch is ready, hopefully by the end of July.”