Having won the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League and the FAW Welsh Cup, The New Saints have acted quickly and tied down a number of first team players.
The Oswestry based side impressively won a domestic double for the second time in only three years and have now confirmed that the bulk of the Championship winning side have resigned with the club.
Amongst others, Club Captain Paul Harrison, along with TNS Player of the Season, Sam Finley have agreed new contracts with Craig Harrison’s side and the former Middlesbrough defender was understandably delighted to have sorted out the contracts prior to pre-season, ‘I am very happy to have sorted a number of contracts out with the players and I feel that it is very important to have sorted them out as quickly as we did. The majority of the lads have had two or three, very good seasons and deserve their new contracts. We looked at getting them signed up as soon as possible and thankfully we have achieved it. There are one or two players that have yet to have been sorted out but we are hoping to address that sooner rather than later.’
Both Curtis Jones and Ryan Jones were released at the end of the season and Harrison said, ‘Unfortunately a couple of lads have been released. However, that is part and parcel of football. It is horrible and is the worst thing in the game along with telling a player that they are not playing in a specific match. Letting players go is really tough and it is not nice at all. Hopefully the lads will be successful somewhere else because at the end of the day it is just a person’s opinion. There have been a lot of examples that a player who gets released, goes onto be very successful and I wish the lads good luck in the future.’
With The New Saints competing in the UEFA Champions League next season, Harrison stressed how important it was to get the players signed up so that work on pre-season can begin, ‘The biggest thing for me is that we can now get on with our preparation for pre-season and plan ahead. I have had the opportunity to look ahead to June. It was great winning the League in April and that has given us time to prepare for Europe. It has obviously been a bit of a pain not knowing if we will be in the first or second qualifying round, but in the last week it has been confirmed that we are in the second qualifying round, so we can now get on with it and wait for our opponents.’
The draw for the UEFA Champions League first and second qualifying round will take place in Geneva on the 23rd of June, 2014.