Cherries: Key Lee decisions will have to wait
Cherries' play-off campaign has left boss Lee Bradbury in a tricky catch-22 situation regarding new signings and the club's retained list. Managers of Football League clubs up and down the country will this week start to shape their squads following the end of the regulation season. Decisions will be made on out-of-contract players, while clubs not involved in promotion issues will begin to firm up on bringing in new signings. However, while Bradbury is facing the demanding task for the first time, he will be forced to delay announcing a retained list until after Cherries' destiny has been decided. A number of Bradbury's decisions will be affected by whether Cherries will be competing in League One or the Championship next season. Bradbury confirmed he had irons in the fire regarding new recruits and also revealed the club had registered an interest in signing permanently Donal McDermott. However, both McDermott and Adam Smith, another target for Bradbury, are understandably keeping their options open until after the play-offs. Bradbury also has to either offer fresh terms to or release six out-of-contract players Danny Hollands, Stevie Lovell, Ben Williamson, Mathieu Baudry, Dan Thomas and Tim Stephenson. Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, Bradbury said: We have been talking about next season and there are lots of issues to be addressed. We have players out of contract and also want to strengthen the squad whether we are in League One or the Championship. We have got a list for both and will be working on them as and when we can. Hopefully, it will be after the final. We will be at least a couple of weeks behind most other clubs. Having said that, the list includes players that can play in League One and the Championship. We feel they would be big players in both divisions. It is something we will look at as soon as we can but it does leave us a little short of time. Asked whether there could be a danger of missing out on players, Bradbury replied: As a player, you want to get it sorted as soon as possible so you can go away and enjoy your break. There is a possibility we could miss out on players. But, at the same time, if they know we are interested and might be going to the next level then you would like to think they would hang on to see what happens. Bradbury added: It is new to me but I have got to make decisions based on what is best for the club and to improve the squad. We have got to remain 100 per cent focused on this season but still have an eye on next season. McDermott's two-year deal at Manchester City is due to expire at the end of June, although the Dubliner would command compensation if he were to leave Eastlands as he is under 23. Fielding questions put by the Daily Echo at Cherries' play-off press call yesterday, McDermott, 21, politely declined to be drawn on his future. Asked whether he was resigned to leaving City, he said: I'm not too sure. I'll have to see what happens after the play-offs. And asked whether Cherries would be an option if he were to leave, he replied: I really don't know. All I'm concentrating on now is the play-offs so we will see what happens after that. Cherries are also delaying naming their retained list from the youth team, although Paddy Hester, Dan Strugnell and Alex Parsons could be in line for pro deals.
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