Grigor Pasha writes: Given that we outperformed expectation last season, finished second in the Bulgarian second, you might expect me to make little change to the squad. Just strengthen here and there.
But I went for radical change instead.
My reasoning was:
- many players’ contracts were expiring
- those whose contracts I wanted most to renew wanted higher wages than I could or would offer
- The board has restricted its medium-term expectation, for some years ahead to top-half finish.
This provides scope for developing a good number of youngsters, from the 2019-20 intake, within the senior squad, rather than farming them out.
If we can get this right, it will transform our ability to work within budgetary restraints.
As a result, of last season’s senior (i.e., non-intake) players, only half a dozen have carried over into this year’s squad — plus another 4 whose loans I was able to extend.
So the squad, which I will introduce to you in more details asap, comprises:
- 10 seniors from last year
- 5 in on frees (perhaps soon to be 6)
- 7 from the youth intake
- 4 new players in on loan
You can see why we’re devoting plenty of sessions to team bonding, community outreach, and teamwork.