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Lennie Opens Talks

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 26/12/2000

Grimsby boss Lennie Lawrence has opened new contract negotiations with Kevin Donovan - one of eleven players, including Paul Groves, Steve Livingstone and Peter Handyside, whose Blundell Park contracts are set to expire during the next eight months.

Lawrence is keen to retain the services of the ex-Huddersfield Town man, as he commented: "He's a good pro and I want him sorted out by the beginning of January." The Town manager expressed his frustration earlier this week that protracted negotiations with David Nielsen were impeding his wishes to open discussions with several key first-teamers. "There's a lot of players in the team who are coming up, and I want to get them all sorted. I don't want them to go," said Lawrence. "I think [Kevin] wants to sign. Obviously the deal would have to be right and I understand that, but I would like him to stay." Donovan, who has made 158 appearances for the Mariners since his £300,000 move from WBA in 1997, will be free to open talks with any other club from 1st January, and it is likely that several managers would be interested in capturing the Yorkshireman's signature. Other players that Lawrence will be looking to speak to over their futures at Blundell Park are skipper Paul Groves, John McDermott, Stacey Coldicott, Tony Gallimore, Peter Handyside, Steve Livingstone, Richard Smith and Kingsley Black. The Mariners will be particularly keen to complete a deal with youngsters Danny Butterfield and Matthew Bloomer, who are also out of contract from the summer of next year.

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