JAKE Buxton has offered new deals to five players as he looks to build a squad for the 2020/21 League One season.
The Brewers player/manager has ten first team squad members under contract for next season, plus himself, and has made new offers to influential midfielder Stephen Quinn, experienced defender Colin Daniel, the versatile Kieran Wallace and young talents Ben Hart and Jevan Anderson, who are all out of contract this summer.
Scott Fraser and Oliver Sarkic are also out of contract and Buxton is having continuing discussions with both players.
The players who have not been offered new deals and who are being released by the club are: Joe Sbarra, Kwame Thomas and Ethan Vale. Stephen Bywater, who had last season already decided to look at interests beyond the game, has retired from professional football.
Loan players Jamie Murphy, Conor Shaughnessy, Kieran O’Hara, Richard Nartey and Nathan Broadhead have all returned to their parent clubs.
Under contract for next season are Lucas Akins, John Brayford, Joe Powell, Ryan Edwards, John-Joe O’Toole, Reece Hutchinson, Ben Fox, Ben Garratt, Callum Hawkins and Teddy Sharman-Lowe.
Buxton said: “It’s always a tough decision to let lads go who have helped the club on and off the field but all the decisions are made in the best interests of the football club and the player.
“I want to thank all the players who will be leaving us for the contributions they have made to Burton Albion whether they have been here on permanent deals or on loan. It’s never easy saying goodbye to players and we wish them all the best for the future.”
Of last season’s loan players, Buxton says we may not have seen the last of them.
“We haven’t ruled out a return for any of the loan lads.”
Buxton accepts that Scott Fraser and Oliver Sarkic may well receive better offers but hasn’t given up on the hope of recruiting them for next season.
“We will keep talking to Scotty and Oli throughout the summer,” he said.
Buxton is blessed with a strong goalkeeping department even with the end of the loan spell for Kieran O’Hara - but may still bring in another stopper.
The Brewers manager said: “I have said to Ben that ideally we would like to bring someone in to compete for the starting position and Teddy will be with the first team and putting pressure on for that role as well so there will be healthy competition. Callum was injured for most of last season and will probably need to go out and get some game time before he comes back into the mix.”
Buxton is also delighted that he has a nucleus of players that he already knows will be part of his plans, including John Brayford, with the option in his contract for another year having been triggered.
“It’s great to have the likes of Lucas, Ryan and John who know all about Burton Albion and competing at this level on board, giving us a core group we can build things around.
“We are all excited about returning to training and getting fit and ready for when football returns.”
New deals offered to:
Out of contract but still talking to:
Loans coming to an end: