Toolstation Western League
Published 13th June 2011
...over whether prized asset Ben Mammola will remain at Silver Street.
The highly-rated centre back, who was voted the supporters' player of the year, has been linked with a move to both Weymouth – whom Mammola played for briefly at the end of last season – and Tiverton Town following a hugely impressive season at the heart of the Willand defence.
There is also transfer speculation linking twenty-nine-goal hitman Dean Stamp with a move away from Silver Street.
Jones says he is keen to keep his squad intact for the forthcoming campaign, but he is looking to sign defensive cover in case Mammola moves on.
"I do not get my player registration papers until next week so I won't speak to them in detail and see what's what until then," said Jones, who led Willand to an impressive third place finish in the Premier Division last season.
"All the players have had May off to do what they want. I have spoken to a few of them since then and, yes, I do have some concerns.
"I would like to keep them all though and I have asked them all to stay next season and play for the club again.
"Ben Mammola falls into the same category as everybody else. He is a fantastic player and is certainly good enough to play at a higher level, but I would love him to stay at the club for another season.
"I do want to sign another centre half though, just in case.
"I know a couple of my players have trained at Tiverton but I've spoken to Mark Saunders – who I get on well with – and I don't have any problems with him.
"The only player definitely leaving is Paul Pocock, who is going to Wellington. I don't blame him at all though – he is a Wellington lad and wants more playing time."
Switching his attentions to reinforcing his current squad, Jones says he is looking to add some defensive recruits to his squad.
A new left-back is his main priority, although he insists he would look to sign any player who could improve his side.
"I do have my eye on a few players myself. I know I need a left-back because Shaun Goff has had an operation and will be out for nine months so I'll need another one," he said.
"There are even a couple of Tivvy players I wouldn't mind signing, including Mark Saunders himself. When it wasn't clear if he was going to be at Tivvy next season, I asked if he wanted to play here, but he said 'no'.
"Centre-back and left-back are the areas I'm looking to strengthen, although I'm always on the lookout for good players in every position."