Mossley start pre-season training on Saturday and while co-boss Peter Band is confident the team spirit he has bred within his squad will keep departures to a minimum, he accepts the true picture will only become apparent over the coming month or so.
“At the moment everybody says they’re staying, but we’ll get the proof of the pudding over the next week or two,” he said.
“I know we’re at the bottom of the food chain but we’ve got a strong bond at the club and I’m hoping that will convince players to stay here rather than moving on if anyone tries to nick them for a few quid extra.”
Midfielder Arron Hevingham has been forced to retire by a recurring ankle problem. Band explained: “Arron got a bad injury a couple of years ago when he was playing for Lloyd Morrison at Flixton.
“It’s flared up again and he’s been to see a specialist who told him the could end up in a wheelchair if he tried to carry on playing. He’s just become a father so it’s not worth the risk.
“The other lad who’s gone is John Bennett, who has joined Curzon Ashton.”
Band is expecting around 30 players to attend the first training session but he and Morrison are not planning to make many signings. Too big a squad could cause ill-feeling because of the lack of opportunities for a first-team place.
In addition, Band expects to have six players available who missed large parts of last season through long-term injury of suspension. He sees the return of Ryan Marley, Dougie Carroll, Jamie Blair, Danny Grimshaw, Mitchell Bryant and Dean Warburton as much like making a raft of new signings.
Band said: “We’ve asked a few to come down – some from the North West Counties – but we won’t be going overboard because you can’t give everyone a game.
“With our budget we can’t go looking for the big names who are on silly money but later on we might pick up some of the lads who thought they could get in at a higher level and failed to do so.”