Aldershot Town’s Board of Directors are helping manager Gary Waddock build for the future by authorising new contracts which ensure players are paid throughout the summer.
The Club currently issue 44-week contracts, to cover the period from July to April, but in a bid to ensure continuity in Waddock’s young squad, and assist him in re-signing the Club’s best players, Directors have now pledged to honour all new contracts from 1 May.
“We’re all very excited at the prospect of where we could end up,” admitted Chairman Shahid Azeem. “Clearly we’re punching above our weight, but Gary has built a fantastic team, and we need to retain their services to keep the nucleus of the squad for next season.
“Players still have bills and mortgages to pay during the summer and it’s important that they have something which is sustainable, so the Board have given Gary the funds to sign these players earlier. These are funds that we have not budgeted for but it is something that the whole Board is 100% committed to achieving.
“Our new Directors have brought both new investment and new skillsets into the Club, and we are constantly looking for further investment that is right for the Club.
“The fans have been fantastic this year, and throughout my time here, and we need them to keep coming through the turnstiles and renewing their season tickets, as well as supporting our Cash For Shots and Boost the Budget initiatives. Every little helps, but the most important thing is their vocal support. This season has been an amazing experience so far, and the fans have played a huge part in that.”
“The relationship and the bond between supporters and players was fantastic on Saturday at Solihull, and we’ll need that atmosphere both home and away until the end of the season” continued Waddock. “It’s an important stage of the season, and who knows what is ahead, but I am also planning for the future. We want to keep this group together as much as we can and for as long as we can.
Gary highlights the impact of Kundai Benyu, signed on loan from Ipswich Town with a contribution from the Boost the Budget scheme, as a direct result of that fans’ input. “You can see what type of player can be brought into the Club with that support. It’s vital for us, and plays an important role in bringing some good players to the Club.
“We’re just starting a long-term project here and we don’t want to dismantle it season after season. We have to have continuity and it would be a shame if that came to a halt during the summer. The players love playing here and they love the atmosphere created by our supporters. They have played a massive part throughout the season, and we all thank them for that, but they can also play a massive part going forward through the summer.
“We’re in a good place but we want to build sustainable success. We want this journey to be a long one, not short. Continuity can help that, and we will be successful if we stick together.”