WHILE the 2013-14 Sky Bet League 2 season will come to close at Portsmouth on Saturday, it will be Tuesday when all eyes seriously turn to next season.The current Argyle squad features a great many players whose contracts expire during the close-season, and the onus falls on manager John Sheridan to make decisions on who he desires to keep in the Home Park fold.
The boss revealed that some players already know their fate, one way or another, but all will be kept under wraps until next week before we find out who will be wearing a green jersey next season. The task is clearly proving a tricky one for John, if only because he feels he has assembled a sterling group of players, on a personal level.
“It’s a really difficult time for me as a manager,” said John. “I wish someone else could have my job for two weeks.
“I’ve got a really good group of players. I’m fond of one or two of them and to get rid of people is not a nice thing to do. There’s not a bad’un amongst them.
“But it’s part and parcel of the job. It’s not something I like doing, but it is something that has to be done. Whatever decisions I make are for the benefit of us as a club and to benefit us for next year. That’s the only focus in my mind.
“It will all come out on Tuesday. I’m in the process of telling players. I’ve spoken to one or two players but I don’t want to bring that out while there are one or two who are waiting for that decision.
“I respected that they wanted to come to see me. They’ve got families and they want to know where they are.
“Everything will be finalised on Tuesday. That is when everyone will know who I want to stay and who I’ve released.”
One player already signed up is injured goalkeeper Luke McCormick, who has inked a two-year deal to remain at Home Park. Luke, who returned to the club a year ago, has missed the conclusion of this season due to a finger injury, but had long ago proved his ability to his manager, who knows the significance of keeping the 30-year-old in PL2.
“It’s really important,” John said. “The injury to Luke came at a bad time for us, but I’ve got two keepers and Jake filled his shoes really well.
“To keep Luke for next season is a big plus for us because he is one of the best keepers in the division – if not the best.”