The future of key players hangs in the balance as boss Garry Wilson makes tentative plans for life in the Blue Square Bet South.
Last season the squad was built around experienced Premier campaigners such as Matt Langston, Richard Pacquette, Jamie Taylor and Simon Weatherstone.
But after relegation was confirmed last week, long-serving management duo Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood will begin delicate negotiations with the chairman and the players and decide who stays and who goes.
Wilson is keen to keep some of the elder statesmen to aid the development of youngsters Ethan Strevett, Simon Johnson, Steve Brinkhurst and Mickey Demetriou but he likened this time of year to a game of ‘cat and mouse.’
He said, “There is a lot to discuss and a lot to consider. We need to sit down with Len (chairman Len Smith) to work out our budget and then decide what players will give us value for money in the South.
“It’s a case of what they (the players) will accept and what offers they get. It’s a cat and mouse situation. We know players will be open to offers but in the same way so are we. We are also on the look out for players.”
Boro’s midweek Sussex Senior Cup semi-final 5-2 victory against Crawley Down at Lancing earned them a place in the final which will be held at the Brighton and Hove’s new AMEX Stadium at Falmer on July 16.
It was a decent display from the side, albeit against County League opposition, and highlighted the young talent at Wilson’s disposal.
He added, “We have a good base of young players at the club. We saw that on Tuesday night and hopefully they will stay with us and help us move forward.
“At the end against Kidderminster (last Saturday) we had five young players on the pitch. Not many youngsters get to experience that level of football and it should stand them in good stead for the future. They cannot do it alone, we will need a few older, experienced heads to work alongside them but the foundation is certainly there.”
Wilson and Greenwood also plan to speak to the members of the ‘400 club’ in the coming weeks.
The drop down to the South could help prolong the Boro’ careers of Darren Baker, Matt Crabb, Ben Austin and Matt Smart all of whom have made more than 400 appearances for the club.