The Harriers manager, Mark Yates, dropped a bombshell today when he announced his retained list and right at the top was the news that both of our keepers are free to leave for pastures new. Long serving John Danby and his more recent replacement Danny Lewis have been told that they are not in the managers plans for next season with the assumption being made from that that Yates has two new goalkeepers lined up.
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that he'll be hard pressed to find a better keeper than Lewis and to find two would be a miracle. With the recent rumours that Stuart Brock was on his way back to the club from AFC Telford now looking likely more than ever it makes you wonder what he sees in the fumbling, un-confident Brock that we could see when he was here before.
It shouldn't be too long before both our former keepers find new employment at clubs that can appreciate what they have.
Also on their bikes were Lee Thompson, Gareth Sheldon, Daryl Burgess, Terry Fleming and Wayne Graves. The last four will be no loss but the removal of Thompson from the club beggars belief after his recent performances that eventually yielded his first League goal for the club against Accrington on Saturday, but then again he should really have scored a few more to guarantee his staying.
Those that will be staying with us are the three already contracted for next season - Jake Sedgemore, Russ Penn and Gavin Hurren with Luke Reynolds, Mike McGrath, Simon Russell, Michael Blackwood and Jonny Harkness all offered new contracts. Whether they agree to those new contracts could make it into a Catch 22 scenario with the possibility of the manager having to sign up at least fifteen new players before the start of the new season if those offered contracts say "up yours".
The chances of that seem un-likely but look what has happened in the past with Dean Bennett, Craig Hinton and Chris Beardsley.
There has been no mention of any youngsters being promoted onto full contracts but the possibility is there for Tom Byrne, Ash Walker and Mitch Butler to be included in the managers plans. There are strong rumours that Butler is already in talks with Crewe and we may miss out on a fee because someone has mis-placed the contract that was given to him earlier in the season.
Shades of the James Keene fiasco there then.
The only other question now is Johnny Mullins. He has now returned to his club, Reading, after winning the Player of the Season awards for both the club and on this website and will now be waiting to hear where his future lies with a team that will be playing in the Premiership next season.
With all these changes it seems that Mr Yates has given himself a tough task. I hope he's up to it and has a plan to fall back on, just as long as it doesn't entail dragging back former players..