Bury Me in Exile: Plans for the Close Season

The close season for some football fans when there isn’t an international tournament in the summer can consist of little more than looking out for the fixture announcements and watching YouTube highlight reels of players their club signs. Whilst there will obviously be fewer consistent posts per week, this blog aims to do things a bit differently and below is a taster of what’s to come and roughly when it will:

  • Analysis of the retained list, which is due to be published on Thursday. I will try to get something up the day after or on the following Monday. I am expecting at least 10 of the current squad to be released and/or made available for transfer. Short reports on each of the players who are being released from their contracts or placed on the transfer list.
  • Review of 2016/2017 for Bury as a whole, which will drop late next week.
  • Review of 2016/2017 for each individual player not covered by the retained list post.
  • Team of the Year/Season for League One, which I will publish after the play-offs have concluded.
  • Where and how Bury need to improve next season to be both more consistent and achieve the stated aim of promotion (which will be a tough ask), plus analysis of the ‘current’ players and how to get the best out of them.
  • A look at other clubs’ retained lists for realistic potential signings Lee Clark could make to improve the squad, with an emphasis on where he has been before in either a playing or coaching capacity. That is likely to be towards the end of the month.
  • ‘Scouting reports’ on confirmed signings shortly after they happen.
  • An in-depth preview of every League One team in 2017/2018, with rough predictions of where they will finish (e.g. ‘pushing for promotion’ rather than 1st or 2nd), as well as how they could line up on opening day. To ensure the highest accuracy possible, this will be done just before the opening weekend of matches.
  • Very short summaries or snippets of friendly matches if there is something particularly relevant from them, e.g. a particular player plays or is on trial or a new shape is tried out.
  • Opinion pieces on other EFL issues, such as what format next season’s EFL Checkatrade Trophy will have.
  • I’m also looking into the possibility of interviewing Bury players and staff, but I can’t at this stage promise that will definitely come to fruition.

Apropos of little, something I will never do on this blog is make any (c)overt political posts unless it directly affects football itself; for example, if legislation was passed capping salaries or the price of matchday tickets to £20… or how badly the EFL are currently ‘running’ things (Leyton Orient). I feel it would alienate some of the potential and current audience and I want to maintain the balanced tone I try to strike with my blog. Many other football blogs I have read cross this line, especially since the General Election was called in the UK the other week. However, very few do it well and even fewer still successfully prevent the political dominating the personal in what is still ostensibly words on a screen about eleven men or women kicking a ball against eleven other men or women.

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