Following on from my previous articles it has been revealed that Brian Barry-Murphy has offered new terms to seven out of the nine players who out of contract this summer.
Namely Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Kgosi Ntlhe, Ollie Rathbone, Brad Wade & Aaron Wilbraham. Only Jordan Williams and Bradden Inman were informed that their services would no longer be required at Spotland next season.
With such a high number of potential renewals, it is likely that not all will accept. Out of the seven that Barry-Murphy wishes to retain, I would like to concentrate on two in particular…
I was quite surprised to learn that midfielder Ollie Rathbone’s contract was allowed to run down, as I would have been sitting him down to discuss terms long before this point. Many Rochdale fans will agree, it is vital he signs a new deal and doesn’t walk for free if they are to see some progression on the pitch. His endless energy and commitment to the cause is a vital cog in a fully fit Rochdale midfield.
The second player was considerably harder to pick as a couple of players seemingly played their way into new deals towards the end of the season, turning it on exactly when needed. The player I have chosen to focus on is Kgosi Ntlhe as he almost looked a different player upon return from his injury towards the back end of the season.
His impressive performances in the back four, chipping in with a couple of important goals, have almost certainly meant he will have at least another season at Spotland to kick on and showcase his talents on a more regular basis.
Aaron Wilbraham is also worth a mention as he was strongly considered for this article as similar to Ntlhe, he put in some big performances at the back end of the season and scored some crucial goals. His age is a factor though with him currently being 39, he surely can’t have many seasons left professionally. Depending on his wage demands it may ultimately be better looking elsewhere in the long run, but providing the finance package to retain him is reasonable, he maybe could be a good option.