Date: 1st July 2014 at 6:13pm
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With Rochdale securing the futures of so many of our existing playing staff to extended or new contracts, manager Keith Hill has said it’s been ‘absolutely tremendous’ work by the club so far to give him the continuity he wants on the pitch, and whilst people might look at us and believe we are a selling club, our recent extensions for him prove that not to be the case.

Speaking to the Official Site having seen Joe Bunney, Joe Rafferty and Michael Rose all commit today, and with them coming on the heels of Matty Done, Ian Henderson, Josh Lillis, Peter Vincenti and others in recent weeks, the gaffer admitted he couldn’t have been happier with the support the board have given him in making sure his squad stays together.

‘Football, unlike so many other industries, is short term with respect to contracts. But with the work that I did with this squad of players, not just last season, but part of the season before, I want to try and retain continuity. I want to try and get as many players as I possibly can tied to more than just a year left remaining on their contract.’

Hill admits that we do have players still who have been offered new deals by the club, who haven’t yet signed them, and he knows there’s only so much he or the club can do, because it does come down to the player themselves, but having seen so many sign the extensions it’s ‘absolutely tremendous’ in his mind as he has a great core now tied up for two years.

Whether or not those other players commit for longer, Hill is adamant that this is – minus any additions – the squad he will lead with and rely on at least for the first half of the season until he can assess and maybe change if needed when the January window opens, and he’s already had the conversation with the board about that, and they are on his side.

‘I have had assurances from the chief executive, the board of directors and the chairman, that no player will be sold unless I deem it relevant and right. There’s nobody at this club who has a for sale sign around their neck and there’s nobody being touted from within the walls of the club. We’re trying to nurture, develop and retaining these players because I want continuity.’

Hill goes on to say that as the group exists, he sees no reason why we can’t push on and be more successful following our automatic promotion last season, and he is looking longer term over the next three to four years, as obviously the main aim this season is to ensure we have League One football and a foundation and base again to build from in 2015-16.

‘The club are doing everything they possibly can to retain these players, and if we have to, we’ll build on what we’ve already got.’

With speculation in January especially about Scott Hogan, the gaffer also pointedly says that the club is not in a position where it needs to sell Hogan or anybody else, and with everybody thinking Rochdale are a selling club – Hill is polite obviously – but the intimation is he’s happy to tell them where to stick their interest if they try to prove them wrong.

‘Anybody who thinks we are, are ill informed.’

Helping that standpoint is obviously the fact that Rochdale have benefited from the sales of former strikers Adam Le Fondre and Rickie Lambert, but how we’ve benefited from their recent sales is beyond little old me.