Three more sign up and two players depart Rugby Town as Adams focuses on 2022-23

By Jon Venner - Pictures from Eynesbury game by Martin Pulley

Dan Summerfield breaking from defence against Eynesbury
Dan Summerfield breaking from defence against Eynesbury

With seven games of the current campaign still to play out, Rugby Town boss Carl Adams explained that the club are already planning for next time round after three further players agreed contracts for the 2022/23 term.

Midfielders Caine Elliott and Barry Fitzharris along with Valley's all-time leading scorer David Kolodynski are the latest to sign up, with Adams confirming: "We're looking to avoid the situation we've experienced in past years, when the squad has not been quite right going into a new season.

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"This has seen us drop far too many points in the first couple of months of it, and therefore left us playing catch up pretty much from the off."

Alex Lock suffered a recurrence of his long term foot injury

Town's 2021/22 UCL season suffered what proved to ultimately be a fatal blow when an August Bank Holiday reverse at Coventry United kicked off a 30 day spell that included four defeats and a draw for Adams's men, whilst the division's top two Harborough and Hinckley were soaring to the summit with victory after victory.

The two Leicestershire outfits have continued their imperious form ever since and have now all but mathematically secured the two available promotion places, and Adams added: "We want to go into pre-season with a guaranteed core of players that we know and can trust, and the latest additions make it eight in total that have signed contracts now.

"I am looking to add one - or maybe two - more to that from within, and have got some specific targets lined-up from elsewhere once the season is over - so that we can hopefully really hit the ground running come August.

"It also means that we have already let go players that we don't feel are part of next year's plans, and we thank them for their contributions at the club and wish them well elsewhere."

Madundo Semahimbo scored his first goal for Rugby against Eynesbury at the weekend

Strikers Danico Johnson and Dylan Parker have both therefore departed Butlin Road over the past week, with Parker making his debut for Racing Club Warwick last weekend, whilst a destination for Johnson is not yet known

Despite the forward planning focus, Adams had vowed ahead of Tuesday's trip to Newport Pagnell that he "hadn't thrown in the towel just yet" on the existing schedule, and his team was as good as his promise at Willen Road, when Rugby leapfrogged back into third place in the table with a richly deserved 2-1 victory over the previous incumbents of that slot.

Goals from Kolodynski and Madundo Semahimbo gave Valley the three point haul over a side that had secured a place in the semi-finals of the FA Vase three days earlier, at the same time that Town themselves were falling to a disappointing 3-1 league loss at mid-table Eynesbury - with Semahimbo again on-target there with a second half equaliser before two late defensive howlers from Harry Eden and Ash Bodycote condemned Rugby to their eighth defeat of the season.

Next up for Town is the visit of Godmanchester this Saturday, which represents one of six fixtures left for them against current bottom half of the table teams.

David Kolodynski shields the ball

Tuesday's win boosts Adams's hopes of ensuring as high a points total and league placing as possible, and he will be hoping that Newport's tougher run-in and potential Wembley distractions boost Valley's third place prospects further.

He concluded: "I thought we played really well on Tuesday and arguably put in our best performance for at least couple of months against what is clearly a very capable side.

"Hopefully we can maintain those levels of quality and intensity between now and the end of April, and then build on this core that we are putting together come next season."

Caine Elliott in a midfield tussle with Eynesbury