Stability the key for Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews

Stowmarket Town captain Ollie Brown is one of five players to have signed new deals at the club. Pic

Stowmarket Town captain Ollie Brown is one of five players to have signed new deals at the club. Picture: DAVE WALKER - Credit: Archant

The Old Gold and Blacks finish their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division with a trip to champions Coggeshall Town today (3pm), with Andrews’ side guaranteed now to finish third after Tuesday’s 3-2 comeback win against Godmanchester Rovers.

The Stow boss is already planning ahead for next season, though, and two weeks ago the quartet of Ollie Brown, Phill Weavers, Jack Baker and Ace Howell all signed two-year contracts with the club, before Luke Read also penned a two-year deal last weekend.

“I think the club needs stability,” Andrews said. “In the five seasons I’ve been here, every season I’ve had to rebuild.

“That’s not always been through choice, especially in the early days, players come and go, but obviously when we went up a level we improved the squad.

“We did that, so we could challenge and that’s come off, because we’re guaranteed to finish third now, which is great for the club.

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“I just think the key word is stability. We need to keep the core of the team and look to bring in two, three, maybe four new players in to freshen up the squad.

“It’s not been a hard sell. The players have thoroughly enjoyed it this season. They’ve said how much they’ve enjoyed their football and want to stay.

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“They can see the club’s ambitious, they love the club and the supporters and the club’s no longer a hard sell.”

Despite heading into the final weekend of the season on a 10-game winning run, Stow’s hopes of automatic promotion ended last week as Felixstowe & Walton United secured second spot with a 6-0 win against Walsham-le-Willows.

But with the planned restructuring of Steps 3-5 in the summer, Andrews has not ruled out the possibility of Stow joining Felixstowe in the Bostik League next season: “We’ve heard small rumours that a third-placed team might go up and a lot of people have said they’d love it to be us.”

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