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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Bayliss: We need leaders for next season

BARROW AFC manager Dave Bayliss says his squad needs a “few more leaders” on the pitch next season.

The Bluebirds boss (pictured left) has already started talking to potential new recruits ahead of a fifth successive campaign in Blue Square Bet Premier.

The current season ends this Saturday, when mid-table Barrow host Newport County. In the days that follow, Bayliss is expected to announce which of his squad will be offered new contracts and which will be shown the exit door.

“I know who is going to go and where we need to strengthen for next season,” said the Bluebirds chief, whose side are without a win in 10 games and drew 1-1 at already-relegated Kettering Town on Saturday.

“It’s been lucky enough to somehow get the money for what (players) we want.

“We know we need a few more leaders.

“We have conceded too many goals and at times lack a bit of strength at the back, I think that showed again at Kettering.

“We know what we need and I will go and get that. If that means upsetting a few people by getting rid of some of the favourites then we’ll do that.”

At present, only 21-year-old striker Adam Boyes, who scored his 15th league goal of the season last weekend, is on a contract for next season.

Speedy 20-year-old winger Jack Mackreth and 21-year-old striker Andy Cook, who has 16 league goals to his name, were offered new deals in December and March respectively, but, as yet, neither has put pen to paper. Mackreth last week told the Evening Mail that he wants to stay with Barrow, while Bayliss has previously said that among those players he wants to retain are goalkeepers Danny Hurst and Shaun Pearson and winger Paul Rutherford.

Bayliss said: “We have plenty of young lads who next season will be a year older, stronger and wiser.

“If we can get others in to help them, then we will do better again next season.

“We’ll have a meeting with Tony Keen and the board of directors in the next week or so. We know who we want to keep and who is going to go.

“I have already identified the players I want to bring in and have spoken to them, rightly or wrongly.”

* AFC will host an end-of-season dinner at Abbey House Hotel in Barrow on Friday, May 11 (7pm).

Local entertainers Denis Horan and Beth Wilkes will perform their respective Michael Buble and Adele tribute acts, with food also served.

To reserve tickets, costing £25 per person, call 01229 823061 or email office@barrowafc.com

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