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Ashford United captain Sam Mott and forward Aaron Condon are among the players to have committed for next season at Homelands

Tommy Warrilow is delighted to have kept the nucleus of last season's squad heading into the new campaign, writes Joe Harbert.

The Ashford United manager has seen at least eight of his first-team stars already commit to the club for another year, including the likes of captain Sam Mott and forward Aaron Condon.

Ashford United manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Paul Amos
Ashford United manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Paul Amos

Other players to have extended their stay at Homelands include Jay May, Jake McIntyre, Josh Wisson, Tommie Fagg, Theo Osinfolarin and Levi Gold.

Yet despite not knowing when non-league football will return to the club, Warrilow acknowledges his team are in a much stronger position than 12 months ago.

The 56-year-old said: "It's difficult at the moment with everything going on - some players are moving onto pastures new, but the rest I've had a chat with and I'm honoured that we've got eight lads at least, plus Lee Hook, that are staying with us.

"Obviously we're looking at other players, but we don't know who has been released from other clubs just yet.

"The budget has obviously been reduced for the new season and that's to be expected with what is happening, so some players haven't been offered new deals.

"Of course when things pick up we can add, but even so it won't really be until pre-season gets going that you'll see a lot more rumblings.

Jay May heads in for Ashford United last season Picture: Paul Amos
Jay May heads in for Ashford United last season Picture: Paul Amos

"From a player's perspective I suppose it's still early as well, and of course we can't do anything about offers from higher levels on bigger money.

"But I felt we had the right strength-in-depth everywhere last season to see us over the line but it wasn't meant to be, so to have so many confirmed and committed to us now is positive."

Warrilow, who also saw defender Ben Wilson depart for rivals Ramsgate earlier this month, says the current climate means he is ultimately now waiting for football to return before he can make new additions to his squad.

"Some clubs have been quite public with their announcements, but I've never been too concerned with other teams and we've never been involved with Dutch auctions as a club,” he added.

"We are though trying to speak to a few sides to arrange friendlies, but again you obviously can't pick a date.

"Until you get a green light of when we are going to head back, all we can do is keep our eyes and ears open and wait.

"Our level isn't the same as the Premier League - we rely on crowds to play and only when that happens will we start oiling the wheels a bit more."

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