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Update from Matt Gray

19 March 2020

At the Q&A evening on Monday, manager Matt Gray gave an update on the make-up of the squad for next season, but for those who weren't able to make it he spoke to the website on Wednesday about the new contracts signed by David Ajiboye, Ben Goodliffe and Craig Eastmond, who has also been made club captain. Matt said: ''Craig has been a mainstay of the squad for a number of years now, and is a huge part of our plans, and since Jamie Collins retired he has stepped up as a leader in the dressing room and we look forward to working with him in the captain's role. David and Ben are two young prospects who have possibly exceeded what I was expecting from them this season. Both have made themselves regulars in the starting line-up, and Ben fully deserves his recognition in the England C squad, although the game against Wales next week has obviously been called off. I'm delighted to have tied them down for next season.

Matt is pleased with the shape the squad is taking. ''We already have Rob Milsom, Coby Rowe, Louis John, Kenny Davis, Omar Bugiel and Craig Dundas committed to us, and I'm in talks with other members of the squad, and although it may be that things will have to go on hold until we know what's happening I'm very happy with things so far as I think it's an exciting squad.''

Matt admits it's been a strange week. ''On Saturday it felt a bit weird during the morning as a lot of the other games were being called off and with the media interest, but when we got to 1.30 everyone got their game heads on and it felt like a normal game, which I think in the end it was and a very good advert for the National League. We had the players in on Monday and trained in the normal way and had to prepare as if we were playing against Fylde, although I always thought it was inevitable that the game would be called off. We've now given them a week off, told them to go away, stay safe and look after their families and try to keep themselves ticking over, and I'll be in touch with them when we know a bit more what's happening.''

Matt admits he's uncertain what the immediate future holds. ''I think ideally the season would be finished to maintain the integrity of the league, but I must say I'm not sure how it will happen and it will be down to the authorities to try and work out the best way forward.''

He finished with a message to the supporters. ''I'd like to thank everyone for their support, home and away and through the tough times as well as the good times. I hope you all stay safe, and hopefully we'll see you soon.''

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