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:

  1. many players’ contracts were expiring
  2. those whose contracts I wanted most to renew wanted higher wages than I could or would offer
  3. 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.

Image credit: ‘Georgi Benkovski’ photograph by Pudpuduk, generously made available under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.

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