New joint Belper Town managers Anthony Danylyk (pictured) and Paul Donnelley were given a huge boost this week when a meeting with nine of last season’s squad saw every player want to stay and be part of the new era.
It was the first chance the newly-installed bosses have had to meet their new charges properly and explain how they intend to set about challenging in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South next season.
“It was good to hear the lads want to stay next season – it was great news,” said Danylyk.
“They love Belper and they can’t wait to get going. They have a connection with the club already and they just want to play football.
“We have told them we are looking to bring in a different spin on things this season with regards to the dressing room and how we go about things.
“Hopefully they will buy into it and see we are trying to make improvements to take the club forward.
“We want a close-knit group and I don’t think that was there last year through no fault of anybody. Over a season if you have a close-knit dressing room it can be worth an extra 10-15 points when things are not going so well.
“That is something we believe in and hopefully it will stand us in good stead for the season.”
He added: “They want to come in and see what it’s all about and hopefully we can get everyone pulling in the right direction and in it together.
“We have told everyone that, regardless of what their position was last year, they will be on a level playing field when we come back for pre-season training on 27th June.
“That’s when places start being up for grabs. So it’s work hard during the summer and keep a shirt ready for the start of the season.”
Work is going on to try to add to that squad, Danylyk saying: “We are ongoing with a couple of irons in the fire, so to speak.
“We are trying to sort out terms with them and get them to commit before the start of the season.
“We still have another four players from last season who are on holiday that we haven’t had the chance to speak to yet and they won’t be back until the end of June.
“We also have four or five players coming in pre-season for us to have a look at.”
Danylyk and Donnelley were appointed successors to Charlie Palmer two weeks back and Danylyk admitted: “We are playing catch-up a little bit with us getting the job late on. We are a little bit behind a few other clubs.”
Applications for Early Bird Belper season ticket discounts end on 30th June. Early bird prices are £130 adults, £70 senior citizens (over-60s) and £70 student (with valid student card).