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Bradford Park Avenue still focused on promotion despite player departures

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Bradford Park Avenue insist they are still gunning for promotion to the National League despite losing three players this month.

Avenue have been the surprise package in National League North this season and find themselves firmly in the promotion race.

But Ben McKenna and Nicky Wroe have left to join league rivals Chester and Boston respectively with goalkeeper Steven Drench joining Altrincham.

In an interview with the Boston Standard, Wroe revealed how the Bradford players were all told they were free to leave and manager Mark Bower’s budget was being cut.

However, the club have moved to reassure supporters that they are determined to win promotion following a run of six games without a win, including four defeats.

A statement read: “We operate a small squad with no reserve team, and the balance between having enough depth, and the luxury of having players not involved week to week is a delicate one at a club of our size and means.

“In order to recruit fresh faces to push forward into the Play-off Race, we, like many clubs, listed some players for Transfer in order to gauge interest. This was done only 14 days ago. Some of these players had requested more game time and opportunities; others have served the club very well in recent seasons however were not in the clubs plans for 2019/2020. 5 (five) players were listed in total with one player requesting a move prior.

“Two players have departed the club in the past two weeks, both for healthy contracts elsewhere through to the end of the 2019/2020 season. Negotiations are continuing regarding one other player transferring.

“Disappointingly there have been reports and misrepresentations made around this very normal business for a football club in January.

It continued: “We remain consistent with the strategy and re-build of the club that has been communicated openly by Directors in recent months. We aim to build the most competitive squad under Mark Bowers’ stewardship as possible, with the aim and ambition to win every match we play and push for the play-offs and promotion. Retaining and extending our exciting group of core players is prudent and a priority.

“We are working hard to improve Horsfall Stadium with pitch perimeter fencing being installed, and we are working with the FA to ensure Horsfall is compliant with Ground Grading Guidelines for the National League should Mark and the teams brilliant work to date this season achieve a play-off series appearance.

“As outlined to fans very transparently recently, we can be sustainable should we reach the National League and we strive to achieve that goal.

“We are active in the recruitment market and will be announcing more news in due course in-line with our strategy to invest our playing budget and generously donated supporter player fund monies in a prudent and efficient manner.

“We expect to have settled on our transfer business by the end of the month and are all focused on winning football matches and extending the enjoyable season our supporters have been provided deep into the play-off race, and beyond.”

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