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Contract Round-Up

By: Richard Lord
Date: 28/02/2001

With the latest news that the transfer of Dutchman Menno Willems from Vitesse Arnhem to Grimsby has come to a stand-still, it's just another problem which adds to the worrying and increasingly long list of jobs Town boss Lennie Lawrence has to complete in the next few weeks.

While the Willems transfer remains to be sorted, Lawrence also has the task of offering contracts to a number of players over the next few months.

Contract negotiations with Kevin Donovan began at the end of January with the influential right winger yet to agree terms. In the meantime fans' favourite Steve Livingstone has renewed his contract and Paul Groves is currently discussing a new deal which will tie the ever-present captain to Blundell Park for the rest of his playing career.

Young striker Jonathan Rowan has signed a contract which will keep the Tetney-born forward at Grimsby well beyond the summer, and John McDermott is next in a long queue of Town players who await talks for new deals.

Lawrence told the local media of his intentions of retaining Peter Handyside and Wayne Burnett at the club, with Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest both reportedly showing interest in the pair.

Kingsley Black has been scoring goals for fun in the reserves just recently, and the left-sided midfielder will be hoping that this will earn him perhaps not only a recall to the first team, but also a new deal. Central defenders Richard Smith and Matt Bloomer are currently waiting to discus new terms, as is the tigerish midfielder Stacy Coldicott, who collected three awards last season at the Player of the Year dinner.

Full-backs Tony Gallimore and Danny Butterfield, who have both struggled to keep their places in the first team this season, will be free agents come May unless the pair are offered new contracts before the end of the season. Reserve team player Andy Smith will also hoping for a new deal to continue his playing career at Blundell Park.

On top of this, Lawrence aims to try and conclude the Menno Willems transfer ordeal as soon as possible, and perhaps make Stuart Campbell a permanent Mariner in time for the beginning of next season.

If you didn't think the Gaffer's job wasn't already difficult, it's been made even harder with the current injury problems and the on-going rush to try and bring a striker to Blundell Park in time for this Saturday's match, when the Mariners play hosts to fellow strugglers Barnsley.

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