Robins let eight players go but 15 are offered deals

James Reid has signed a new contract with Ilkeston FC, as has Laurie Wilson.
James Reid has signed a new contract with Ilkeston FC, as has Laurie Wilson.

Ilkeston FC have begun the process of building a squad for next season by announcing the identities of players they wish to keep at the New Manor Ground.

Midfielders Laurie Wilson and James Reid have signed new one-year deals, with a number of others being offered fresh contracts.

They include Joe Maguire, Antwan Russell, Aaron Hooton, Ryan Wilson, Gary Ricketts, Matt Richards, Ellis Storey and Kane Richards, with academy youngsters Danny Gordon, Mike Williams, Matt Baker, Scott Low and Ryan Swift also offered terms.

Talks are ongoing with Alex Ford, Dan Partridge and Rob Kozluk, but those not being offered re-engagement on last season’s terms are Jack Watts, James Cullingworth, Chris Martin, Andrew Osei-Siribour, Dereece Gardner, Kieran O’Connell, Greg Pearson and Russell Peel.

Manager Kevin Wilson said: “People often don’t realise that managers can become quite attached to players and it isn’t easy letting some go, but it’s a necessary evil and we’ve had to look at the big picture.

“A few were always likely, particularly Andrew Osei-Siribour who wants to move back down south, Greg Pearson who I was keen to keep but who is having to travel from Halifax for games and training, and Kieran O’Connell, who showed some promise but whose departure was more mutual.

“I’m delighted to have tied down Laurie Wilson and James Reid nice and early as they are both players who can have a big influence next season if they can stay fit and have consistent form.

“We’re hoping others will follow in signing up, although there may be one or two who wait to see what happens in terms of offers from elsewhere.”

Wilson also expressed his desire to freshen up the Robins squad with new players, and was in no doubt as to where the biggest improvements are needed.

He added: “If we’d scored more goals this season we’d have been in the play-offs, no question, given we conceded relatively few compared to those around us.

“So I want to bring in a real goalscorer, although the likes of Aaron Hooton and Gary Ricketts will still be of great value to us.

“We also conceded too many silly goals so we need to look at the defensive areas, particularly with Russell Cooke having retired.”

Meanwhile, Wilson also announced pre-season friendlies away at Belper, Eastwood, Shepshed and Coalville have been organised, with dates due to be confirmed by the club in due course.

- The Ilkeston Football Club Supporters Group AGM is being held on Wednesday, May 22 at the New Manor Ground clubhouse and starts at 7.30pm.

All members are invited to attend.