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Watson Won`t Be Held to Ransom

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AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson insists no player will be holding the new Conference Premier club to…..

….ransom over their wage demands this summer.

The likes of winger Mike Phenix and 15-goal defensive midfielder Mike Grogan are all without terms at the New Bucks Head for their return to the Conference Premier.

The Bucks also want to open talks with top scorer Adam Farrell over a new contract, but they have another season’s option on his deal which they plan to take up.

Captain Simon Grand left last week for Barrow AFC, opting to stay in the Conference North but picking up a significant wage from the big-spending Bluebirds.

And Watson insists he won’t be held over a barrel by anybody re-negotiating or coming into the club, adding there will be no mercenaries plying their trade at Telford next season.

He told the Shropshire Star: “Players have to be conscious of putting themselves into a position where they are not value for money. It comes down to what level you want to play at.

“People have got to be at your club for the right reasons and that doesn’t mean wages. I am not giving someone a pay rise just because we have been promoted.

“There are players who, perhaps, don’t deserve it as they were on good money last season and didn’t deliver. Each situation will be judged on its own merit.

“Some have never played at this level, either. I have had people, in the past, who I thought would be nailed-on to succeed in the Premier and they have struggled.

“There have been others who I have been unsure of and they have done it. There are no guarantees in anything.”

Phenix and Grogan have both mentioned cutting down on their hours in their day jobs, to focus more on life as a footballer in non-league’s top flight.

Overnight stays on a Friday night are more commonplace in the Premier, too, as the part-time Bucks pit their wits against a number of full-time outfits.

Watson said: “Yes, there will be more travelling, but the training patterns won’t change. There will be some overnight stays, though, because of the distance we have to travel.

“We have also have the option of travelling down to Telford, which is in the Midlands, and staying in the hotel at the club, on occasions where that suits the trip.”

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