After such giddy success, it seems unfair to start looking at who should be staying and who should be going. Can’t we just stay in this place for a little bit longer?
Well, no, evidently. Few will argue with most of the releases announced this week. Franny Green is a good solid Conference pro, the kind of man you can rely on to do a shift in for you. Of course, we’re not a Conference club anymore and with the market opening up for us, his qualities won’t transfer up to the next level.
Chris Hargreaves’ moments during his second spell were fleeting, the combativeness and endeavour were there, but a career of lower league football has clearly taken its toll on his body.
Billy Turley, 2008 Oxblogger player of the year, is clearly approaching ‘legend’ status. Whilst we floundered hopelessly, the one positive constant was Turley. Sentimentality had me hoping that he’d be accommodated in some way (goalkeeping player/coach?). On the other hand, its good to preserve his legend status. How perfect was it that he signed off from the Kassam with an astonishing save against Mansfield, and some even more astonishing YouTube videos?
Kevin Sandwich might count himself a little unfortunate. By no means a stick-on first teamer and unfortunately chastised by the crowd for his shortcomings, he rarely let anyone down when needed. Squads need Kevin Sandwiches, although, it seems, not this one.
John Grant didn’t really stand a chance; his inclusion at the expense of Jack Midson immediately put him at a disadvantage. Not scoring didn’t help either.
Lewis Chalmers, might have had a chance with Adam Murray injured and Adam Chapman’s troubles. But with Chapman finding some startling form as the season closed, Chalmers’ chances disappeared.
Jamie Cook too had a chance during the period that will forever be known as ‘The Sticky Patch’. When Sam Deering couldn’t reach the penalty box with his corners; Cook represented an option for dead-ball delivery. He probably has the best first touch in the whole squad and some of his feints and passing were sublime. Sadly, in a team that thrives on its dynamic work rate, Cook’s more ‘continental’ talents were out a bit out of place. He did, at least, leave an iconic moment in the season – when he became the True Carrier of Hope.