BCFC: The Retained List
Following the end of the 2022/23 season a fortnight ago, Blues announced the names of players retained and released on Monday. Full details can be found here; https://www.bcfc.com/news/all/retained-and-released-list-2023
Six experienced players who were regular members of John Eustace’s squad last season were released. Max Colin, Harlee Dean, Troy Deeney, George Friend, Jordan Graham and Kevin Long have all reached the end of their contracts. However, the club pointed out that talks remain ongoing with ‘a number of released players’, so its possible that one or two of these could yet remain. Kevin Long, for example, seemed to settle in well once up to full match fitness and there has been speculation that he could be one of those the club might seek to continue with. Interestingly, out of the six players released the club had options on two of them, Deeney and Graham, that were not taken up.
Other players with first team experience who were released include Adan George, Mitchell Roberts, Keyendrah Simmonds and Ryan Stirk. The Trust wishes them, and indeed all other departing players, well in their endeavours to find a new club and further their playing careers.
Josh Andrews, who has been on loan to Doncaster Rovers this season, and Josh Williams, who played several games for Blues at the start of this season, have been offered professional terms together with others who have not yet progressed to the first team. Hopefully these players will sign new deals, but if they don’t the club will receive some compensation payments if they move elsewhere as they are under 23 and have been offered a new deal by the club.
The club has also exercised options in their favour for several players including Tate Campbell, Nico Gordon and Marcel Oakley who all have some first team experience.
Ivan Sunjic is also due to return to Blues at the end of his loan to Hertha Berlin where, according to the German newspaper Bild, he was reportedly suspended due to disciplinary issues. However, newspaper reports in Croatia suggest Dinamo Zagreb are interested in taking him on next season.
The combined first team playing time of those released, together with the loanees who have returned to their parent clubs – Krystian Bielik, Hannibal, Reda Khadra, Dion Sanderson and Auston Trusty plus Przemyslaw Placheta who returned to Norwich in the New Year – is over 50% of the total playing times for Blues this past season. That alone highlights the significant recruitment challenge now facing Blues this summer.
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It is going to be a significant challenge for sure. But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to push the reset button and build a team for the longer term. I’m fed up with half of the players who turn out on a Saturday being loaned from other clubs. One or two maybe, but not five or six. How does that help us for the future?
Young, hungry players with ability and something to prove are out there. They don’t need to be established starts and they won’t all cost a fortune.
How many of us can name Luton Town’s regular starting eleven for example?
A fresh approach is needed.
We all knew this summer would entail major recruitment of players, I’m really keen to not only see who we sign but also get a glimpse of the style of pay we can expect , I’m really hoping to see some progression in that area next season. Whilst I accept we have to be competitive I’m hoping to see a tad bit more football.
John I agree. Got fed up the amount of times the commentary said the other teams like to play football.
Coventry and Luton have shown the way on lower budgets.
Potential cause for optimism and potential cause for dread.
Like others I am excited by the prospect of a reset within the squad, it feels long overdue.
At the same time, bringing a minimum of 9 new players into a club that is already toeing the P&S rules will be a mammoth challenge.
We will need to be shrewd with free transfers and loanees yet again. It’s our job as fans to give any new arrival a chance, even if they aren’t a big name with a big track record.
Whilst understanding the quote from BluesAreTheStreets and the bit about potential dread. My feeling is that whatever develops during these crucial takeover weeks ( and let’s not underestimate this), supporters are ready for taking the plunge for the new season. Clearing the decks and bringing in alternative players etc. may or may not work out which is always the risk, but after a decade plus of ‘just surviving ‘ or nestling in the familiar 17th spot, we surely are ready now for a totally new challenge. Luton and Coventry risked it with attacking intent and never looked back. We needn’t feel the tinge of potential dread as we are ready, in my view, to take on a completely different mindset.
Surely we must be filled with total optimism. Our new owners are switched on cookies, financially very astute, and will want to see Stans filled and rocking at the earliest opportunity.
I feel the retained / released list is just about right. If Hogan can stay fit and get his mojo back we have a real goal threat, if the players we bring in have the mentality of Jukey we won’t go far wrong. Let’s hope we can bring in at least a couple of players who when they get the ball we’re off our seats. We’ve been made a laughing stock by other teams, l bet there not laughing now. For me it’s a time when we should be looking up, l’m totally enthused, can’t wait for the season to start.
So if you haven’t been coming, get behind our new team, and certainly get behind Tom and his colleagues.
some of those released have been about during our rubbish times..we can only move on by getting shot of dead wood and mediocre players especially those getting a large wedge for little return….be nice to actually see some players in a Blues shirt that want the ball rather than get rid of it like it had dog poo on it..lets look up for a change and not over our shoulders at whos behind us.
Troy Deeney was the worst signing two seasons ago. For a striker to only score 4 or 5 goals in two seasons is not good enough. Plus he was always injury prone at Watford and has mainly been out injured at Blues. The other goals he got were from the penalty spot. He is too old, too injury prone and too slow. He can’t last 90 minutes. Get rid of him fast, sign a younger championship striker who gets 12 to 15 goals a season.
Stan Moye’s comments -especially his first paragraph- is I feel very near to becoming fact. Purely on ground matters and our potential new owners being astute is the key. My belief is that our Council is well committed in backing this takeover and eventually to earmark a well talked about site for a stadium within the newly awarded levelling up scheme. Nice to feel we are at last ALL pulling together. We need a community reflecting the BCFC name. My view is that we are within touching distance.