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Out Of Contract At The End Of The Season.....


offshoredee

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McGinn - 2 year deal

Harkins - Worth another year but I don't see him playing as big a part next year.

McGowan - Depends how much football he plays between now and the end of the season. Don't think he's been great the times I've seen him this year.

Irvine - Depends what other players are available who can play as back up to both the right and left back. Useful experienced player to have around the squad. The jury is still out on Meggat and Cammy Kerr as to whether they are good enough to be the back ups.

Thomson - Not for me. Think he's been living off his reputation a lot while at Dens. We need a captain who can perform week in week out.

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It's pretty early to discuss this (I think we were all crying out for Clarkson to be given a new deal ASAP at this point last season) but it's also fun so here is my take:

Kevin Thomson - Wait until the end of the season and judge conditions then. With the investment in youth that we are making, we will need experienced guys around and there is no question that despite how often we may see it, Thomson is a quality player with experience at a high level. We do need to reduce our reliance on him and that should be one of our priorities in the window but if his demands can be lowered (assuming he won't be able to go away and find a bigger contract after us), there may be a place for him to remain at the club in some capacity (player/coach role I'm thinking). If not and he's still demanding a bigger wage than what he contributes and/or doesn't have his heart set on remaining with us, he has to go. My instinct tells me he'll go though.

Gary Harkins - Offer new one year initial deal (maybe with clauses for a further year). It may be the case that he'll be able to demand a longer deal at another club but like Thomson, I see him as an experienced head that will be a good influence for young players (as much as his failings in making a higher level are often highlighted, he's matured very well with hi age and his attitude has been top class here with him getting into great shape over the summer and appearing a lot fitter). The only issue with him is that past 30s, long term injuries can pop up but as long as we don't over-commit ourselves with a long term contract with no escape, I'm happy enough with giving him a deal.

Paul McGowan - Weirdly, I'm finding this one a lot more difficult than I thought I would. Despite the obvious incident with him, he's not really done anything related to the club that has shown that he isn't 100% professional and he does seem to love playing with us. My issue with him is that given the style of play he has is reliant on his mobility, I'm worried that he'll deteriorate at a high rate. Don't get me wrong, he's only 27 (will be 28 tomorrow) and I'm not saying that players that age are past it but he does suffer from niggling injuries quite often and McGowan is far from the worst but it is something that grabs my attention. At St Mirren, he missed three months in his last season with a shoulder injury and he has had his share of issues here (his knee and now his foot). I guess all we can really do is watch him over the season and see how he handles things. If he looks fine, I'd be happy to give him a deal on similar terms to Harkins.

Paul McGinn - Despite some difficult games, he has shown signs of improvement and given that he has shown himself to be decent at this level (I'd take him over a few teams right backs) with age on his side (25 in a few weeks), I'd be happy to offer him another couple of years as I think that will ensure we see him at his best. I'd like to see extra competition (whether that is from a new right back or from Kerr, Black or Dryden) but we can do a lot worse than McGinn.

Gary Irvine - He's had a good time with us but think this is time to go. Like I alluded to above, we have younger competition at right back and we also have two options at left back with Holt (who will be a season wiser at this level) and Meggatt (who is contracted for another year). Although I value his experience, I don't think he could stay on in the same terms I've suggested Thomson may be able to as not only is there a lot of competition in his positions, I don't think he's cut out for this level anymore. We play a system which relies on a high level of mobility from our full backs and Irvine just doesn't fit into that. Hopefully we see him return one day in another capacity (or if he goes to a part time team, there may still be a route for him to get into coaching with our youths if he desires) but think this will be a season too far.

Thomas Konrad - Maybe. He's still got age on his side for the position he plays and by the end of the season, he'll only be 26. On the other hand, defence is a position where we have shown to be vulnerable and he's shown various weaknesses. He isn't the worst player in the world and he could probably find another team at this level but it's probably down to how he does over the course of the season and how the defence is looking as a unit. If he is offered a new deal, I'd probably limit it to one year.

Kostadin Gadzhalov - Been intending to treat his contract renewal as a new signing and have been keeping an open mind about him but he's not had the best luck off the park. He seemed to have got himself in good shape after Budapest and was working very hard to get himself fit. After Darren Dods took him out at Brechin, he's come back into the 20s and put in some solid games but then put in a nightmare showing and had a recurrence of his injury (I don't know how much his injury played in his performance). Very unlikely but it just depends if he can make a dramatic comeback and force himself into the first team this season. Hartley did seem to prefer him to Meggatt as a centre back option on the bench anyway (going by Thistle away).

Cammy Kerr (I think) - There were rumours that although Hartley gets on with Kerr on a personal level and is very supportive of him, he doesn't feel he has the ability to improve to our level and he might be better off going elsewhere. Although that may be nonsense and I hope that it is or at least Kerr manages to prove Hartley wrong, the amount of young right backs we have and the lack of a contract extension (that I can see?) would suggest that there is something in it. He's back at Peterhead until January (as it stands) so there is a lot of time for things to change. His attitude seems to be fantastic though so reckon he'll be putting in a lot of work and trying to make the most of this season to prove to the management team.

Anyway, there is a long time to go so anything can happen I suppose.

I'd say there's a realistic chance we won't see any of them next season.

Maybe actually. If we finished strongly this season, we will probably have a much stronger market to sign players in. I suppose the only way Hartley can try to replicate his previous success stories in the transfer market is to make room for new players.

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