Will Evans and Billy Bodin Offered New Contracts
Town have announced this morning that second year scholars Will Evans (central defender) and Billy Bodin (midfielder / forward) have been offered new one year professional contracts. Unfortunately Calum Antell, Matt Barnes, Elliot Knight, Mark Hartmann and Jordan Record will be released at the end of the season.
Will Evans, a strong central defender, has the opportunity to follow Sean Morrison’s example and find a regular place in the first team after several impressive games this season for the reserves. Evans also recently captained the reserves in the win against Bristol City.
Billy Bodin, the son of Paul Bodin, has recently featured on the first team bench and has become a Wales U21 International earlier this season. A versatile forward who can play of the left wing or up-front, Bodin has been a key player in the reserves during this season. With Richie returning to Portsmouth, I certainly see Bodin featuring at some point in our run-in this season. Bodin is certainly a more technically gifted player than Marshall and has outshone Marshall in the reserves.
As for the five that go, it comes as no surprise to see Antell leave. Despite being young, Antell lacks any real physical presence between the posts and hasn’t developed enough over the past two seasons. In goal we already have four proffesionals (Lucas, Smith, Jesionkowski and Scott) so this is always a competitive position in any squad.
I’m surprised with the decision to release Barnes and Hartmann. Both midfielders have good ability, particularly Barnes’ crossing, and I’d expect both will play in the Football League at some point in their careers and they will be snapped up by a Conference or League Two team.
As for Elliot Knight and Jordan Record, neither have done enough in their many opportunities in the reserves to impress. A phone call from Swindon Supermarine would come as no surprise.
Perhaps the most important youth player question has yet to be answered…. whether the 16 year old Alex Henshall’s future is at Town?