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MANAGER: We've made him an offer

Paul Simpson on Jamie Devitt and on adding to the current numbers

27 July 2022

Barely a day goes by without the ‘what’s happening to Jamie Devitt’ question being thrown the manager’s way, so we took the opportunity this morning to raise that very issue, with a decision now almost certainly just around the corner.

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“We’ve had discussions this week and, being honest, we’ve made him an offer to stay at this football club, and he’s now considering it,” the gaffer told us. “I’ve actually said to him that I need a decision by Thursday, because if he hasn’t decided by then he isn’t going to be involved on Saturday.

“I can’t afford to have him around if that’s the case. I’ve made an offer to him that I think is a good offer for us, for his situation that he’s in.

“For him, if he’s playing in our team it’s at the same level as it was last season. If he’s not playing, it won’t be.

“He wants to stay, but he has to make the decision whether it’s right for him financially. I’ll wait and see, but hopefully by Thursday we’ll have a decision – well, no, I will have a decision by Thursday otherwise I’ll have to shake his hand and we’ll part ways.”

With the popular playmaker having spent the summer with the club, it provides a live example of how transfer dealings can have more to them than a simple yes or no from both parties.

“There are always things to consider,” he said. “Every player that you sign, you have to do some due diligence, and you have to make sure they’re right in terms of personality and fitness levels.

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“You need to know they have a history of being able to play and of sustaining that. There’s all sorts of things that are taken into account, and it’s not just a case of yeah, he looks a good players, let’s go and chuck a load of money at him, it doesn’t work that way.

“We’re doing all of the work we need to do to get the right people here. Greg and Jacob have been out at games this week, they’re out at a game this afternoon [Wednesday], because we’re always looking for players.

“We want to find the right people and we keep getting names thrown at us. I’ve had an agent chuck a name at me today which is a really interesting one, so I’m finding out how fit he is and whether or not he would want to come here.

“There are all these things that we have to take into consideration. Unfortunately, and I totally get it, supporters want to know what’s going on every second of the day, and they want to know about every player that we’re interested in.

“We can’t do that, it’s just not physically possible to comment on all of that. I know there are all sorts of rumours about players who we’re interested in, or who we might be interested in, or who I want to get out, but it’s all irrelevant.

“As soon as there’s anything worth telling I promise I’ll tell people the information they need to know.”

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And this has been talked about before, but we wondered if there are any particular barriers or hurdles that are preventing the influx of new talent to add to an already good group that the coaching staff clearly want to see.

“It’s no different to what I’ve found at other clubs,” he said. “Players have an idea of where they fit and where is right for them.

“Whether that be the level, the location, the money or the manager. I don’t know if anybody has decided not to come here because I’m the manager, but I’m sure that plays a part.

“There will be players who I’ve had rows with in the past, or I haven’t treated them as well as they think I should have done.

“They’ll know players I’m trying to sign and maybe throw a spanner in the works, but that hasn’t been thrown at me so far, thankfully.

“There are other reasons why we don’t sign players, but it isn’t one common thread that keeps coming back, there’s all sorts of reasons.

“We’re still getting phone calls from an agent who looks after somebody who we enquired about six or eight weeks ago - but they still haven’t got a club - to ask if we’re still interested.

“On the one I’ve had today, unfortunately the salary he’s asking for is way above what we can pay, so that won’t be happening.

“We’ll see what comes. I’ve said it many times, but they have to be right for us and right for our football club.

“They’re only right for us if they really want to come, all the players we’ve signed so far have shown a real desire to want to come and play for us and do well for us. Hopefully that continues.”

So is he comfortable with the current numbers as we head into an incredibly busy month of fixtures?

“We’ve got a lot of games before the end of August, but we’ll just get on with it with whatever we’ve got,” he told us. “It doesn’t focus my mind on the fact we need more, but it probably makes me speak to Greg a lot more and maybe tell him to get his finger out and bring some more options to us.

“I’ll be really honest, this week my head has been focused on Crawley, that’s all I’ve been thinking about.

“When I get extra time to talk about recruitment, I then do that as well, so my days are full on. I was able to have my birthday on Tuesday, but I did say to Jacqui that I would be home by 3pm that day, then I had to ring her at half five and tell her I was on my way.

“It’s work, she understands it and I’ll keep working until we get the end result we all want.”

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