Now that the dust has settled on another turbulent season for Rochdale in which they confirmed survival in the final weeks of the season, talk has turned to shape next seasons squad going forward under the management of Brian Barry-Murphy.
Currently, Defender, Kgosi Ntlhe, Midfielders, Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Ollie Rathbone, Goalkeeper, Brad Wade and Attackers, Aaron Wilbraham, Bradden Inman & Jordan Williams are out of contract this summer.
Loanees Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.
Brian Barry-Murphy will be keen to re-sign as many as possible of the out of contract players, to reinforce the form and consistency Rochdale showed towards the end of this season.
What appears to be most alarming to Dale supporters is the fact the club have let Ollie Rathbone’s contract dwindle. He is an important player for the club and, now holds all the cards in regard to the decision on his future. It is imperative he is offered a new deal as soon as possible to retain his services at Spotland.
Midfielder Matty Done is likely to be offered fresh terms as he is one of the elder statesmen of the team, and has a bit more to offer yet, wages dependent of course.
I believe that Keohane, Nlthe & Wilbraham late-season form will have done enough for them to be offered new contracts, as they showed enough about them to warrant BBM’s continuing faith in their abilities.
When it comes to Brad Wade & Aaron Morley I understand that they may have contract extension options. so hopefully these will be taken up. Wade is currently the only real option BBM has as back-up to first-choice keeper Josh Lillis, so he is more likely to be offered terms than Morley who didn’t feature often under the previous regime. Morley will want assurances from the new management team about his playing time, before considering any possible renewal if the club were to offer him one. I don’t think it would be a major surprise to many at Spotland to see him move on to seek more first-team action if, he didn’t get the assurances he wanted.
This leaves us with Bradden Inman and Jordan Williams who are out of a contract and are leaving the club. Bradden started the season well, scoring twice in a 2-1 win on an opening day away at Burton Albion, but since then has shown inconsistent form leading to him drifting in and out of the team and struggling to make any real impact when he has played.
Finally, Jordan Williams was one of few Rochdale players that a fee was paid for, rumoured to be around the 100k mark to Barrow a couple of seasons ago, so there would be a reluctance to let him go on a free, but despite an extended run in the team this season, he has looked like this level is maybe beyond him at this early stage in his career.