United have announced their retained list to see who’s going to be part of the squad for the upcoming 2021/22 League One Season
Callum Burton is the main casualty, despite deputising well for Dimitar Mitov during the run-in, and making some important saves he’s been released by the club. Unfortunately for Callum he’s very similar to Mitov in his attributes and the club obviously think they can improve on him. A great shot stopper, Burton has a tendency to spill the ball which has cost us a few goals this season, but his penalty facing ability is second-to-none. We wish him well and hope we don’t have to face him in a penalty shoot out in the future. Youngster Joe Neal has also been released to continue his development elsewhere where he can get more game time.
Contracts have been offered to Greg Taylor, Dimi Mitov, Kyle Knoyle, Liam O’Neil, Paul Digby, Luke Hannant, Andrew Dallas, Paul Mullin, Harrison Dunk and Ben Worman. Adam May has had the option of a second year taken up and the club continue to talk with Wes Hoolahan, to the relief of all U’s fans. Whilst we’re not surprised by a few of those names, we did not expect to see Andrew Dallas retained after his loan spell at Weymouth seemed to signal the end of his Abbey Stadium career, and we’d still be surprised if he plays much of a part next season.
You can argue that Greg, Liam, Dimi, Harrison and Luke Hannant have all earned extensions based on the past season, although whether they’ll be first choice come August is a different matter – the club will need to improve the depth in the squad or it’s going to be a difficult season. Some people will disagree on whether they all will be competitive at a higher level, but some continuity from a successful side is required and these guys have bled Amber for us this year.
Knoyle, Mullin and Digby have been integral to our success this season, and whilst it looks like Knoyle is off to the Championship, Mullin’s future is a little less clear – he’s said he’d prefer to return closer to his home in the North West, but he has also had the season of his life in Amber and Black so may decide to stay at the Abbey a while longer. Fingers crossed it’s the latter. Paul Digby has been the Wanless-esque figure we’ve missed for a while now so we hope he will sign a new deal too.
Hiram Boateng, Declan Drysdale, Jubril Okedina, Shiloh Tracey and Ali Alese have returned to their respective parent clubs – it would be great to see a few of those back next year (Boateng and Okedina in particular) but some of them didn’t have as much opportunity to show us what they can do as they’d have liked.