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Ashford United boss Tommy Warrilow set to offer his players deals for next season

By Steve Tervet

Tommy Warrilow will use Leon Legge as an example to any Ashford players contemplating a move away from Homelands this summer.

The manager won't stop anyone leaving but only wants them to consider deals which carry a proper reward.

Warrilow was Tonbridge boss in 2009 when they sold Legge to Brentford and 10 years on, his message to the centre-half still rings true.

Leon Legge during his time at Cambridge United Picture: Keith Heppell
Leon Legge during his time at Cambridge United Picture: Keith Heppell

Warrilow said: "I don’t mind players leaving but they’ve got to leave for the right reason.

"If it’s a ridiculous financial offer, fair enough. If it’s a few levels up, fair enough. But a sideways step for the sake of another £30, I’ve never understood, if they’re playing well and enjoying their football.

"If you do that, you’re going to get a proper move and I always use that expression. If you’re going to get a move, get a move, don’t just get a move for the sake of it.

"Get a proper move which has either rewarded you financially or rewarded you regarding the level of football you’re playing.

"I did it with Leon Legge. A few clubs came in for him but we said ‘no’ and told him for the right reasons, explained it all and he ended up getting a really good move to Brentford.

"A few clubs had come in prior to that and he was disappointed but I sat down and had a really good chat with him.

"We’d never stop him from going because we'd have had an unhappy player but where he wanted to be a pro so desperately, it had to be done the right way for him.

"Some of the deals these pros are getting now, they’re better off playing non-league football and trying to get another source of income.

Ashford manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Chris Davey
Ashford manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Chris Davey

"I’ll get the lads down and pick the bones out of it, see who’s staying, who’s not, and whoever’s not, we’ll have the numbers to work from to attract players to what we’re trying to build down there."

Warrilow met Ashford owner Don Crosbie this week and is now ready to start offering deals to players.

He said: "There will be different things this year because they signed deals that weren’t our deals last year.

"We’ll be implementing different things that I’ve always put in at my clubs and they might not like that. It’s nothing ridiculous, it’s just common sense.

"I’m not a complicated man, I just want people to do the right thing and treat everyone with respect. If everyone does that, there’s no issues and we’ll be underlining that a little bit more.

"I’m not flapping or panicking too much because we did bring six or seven players in last year so we’re quite happy with what we’ve had.

"We’d like to bring a couple more in but at the same time, no drastic surgery."

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