Three heading for exit as Stevenage sign Middlesbrough starlet
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Stevenage are preparing to part company with three of their main first-team squad – but have moved quickly to replace one of them.
Goalkeeper Jamie Jones as well as Steven Schumacher and Jobi McAnuff have all yet to sign a new contract at the Lamex.
Manager Darren Sarll has already resigned himself to losing Jones but he has moved quickly to replace him with a player he describes as “very gifted young man”.
Joe Fryer arrives from Middlesbrough after spending the second-half of last season on loan at Hartlepool.
Sarll said: “Jamie had an offer [from us] just before the end of last season and didn’t choose to sign it.
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“You can never say that they have gone. All I can tell you is he had seven weeks with a very good offer from Stevenage and he didn’t sign it.
“There’s a bit of the old-fashioned ‘if he wanted to be here, he would be here’.
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“We didn’t try to cut corners with his offer but obviously he didn’t want to play for Stevenage as much as I wanted him to play for us.
“He’s not gone but he’s certainly not here.
“One of the provisions for that scenario [Jones’s departure] was to sign a young goalkeeper.
“I thought [Fryer] was excellent when he played for Hartlepool. And yes, I know Hartlepool went down but he came into a difficult situation as a young lad and we had four separate coaches and scouts go to watch him.
“He was really terrific and someone we have worked hard on to bring in since the end of last season in case Jamie wasn’t an option for us.
“We’re delighted to have Joe in and already in the first few days I’ve worked with him there’s a real quality about him.”
Schumacher and McAnuff’s situation is slightly different, with both being described as “ongoing”, although Schumacher seems more likely to leave.
“Steve showed a real willingness and enthusiasm to stay,” said Sarll. “We put in an offer which didn’t meet his needs or estimation of what he thought he should be paid.
“That is ongoing but the likelihood is he won’t return to the football club.
“I’d still like him here but if you can’t meet on financial terms, you can’t meet.
“Jobi is in a similar boat but that’s one that’s a little bit more ongoing than the other two.
“He’s been this round this game a million times and he’s quite relaxed when it comes to this situation.
“He’d like to stay and if we can meet somewhere in the middle financially, we’ll get that one over the line.
“As of yet though that hasn’t happened.”
Fryer’s signing is number seven of what promises to continue to be an extremely busy transfer window.