Morecambe boss calm over contract position

Derek Adams is relaxed about his Morecambe players’ contract situations despite all bar one seeing their present deals expire next summer.
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At present, Adam Mayor is the only member of Adams’ senior squad with a contract beyond the summer of 2024.

Donald Love, Farrend Rawson, Jacob Bedeau, Jake Taylor and Max Melbourne are in the second half of the two-year contracts they signed in the summer of 2022.

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Another 11 players are on one-year deals with five having joined on season-long loans.

Morecambe midfielder JJ McKiernan Picture: Jack TaylorMorecambe midfielder JJ McKiernan Picture: Jack Taylor
Morecambe midfielder JJ McKiernan Picture: Jack Taylor
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Hoping knocks have cleared up

One of the 11 on a year’s contract is JJ McKiernan, who has made an impressive start to life at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

Four goals in his first 13 games – including a hat-trick against Colchester United – have seen the 21-year-old on Northern Ireland U21 duty.

Consequently, it wouldn't be the biggest of shocks had his form had started to generate interest from elsewhere.

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Asked whether he was in a position to perhaps look at rewarding the midfielder with a new, extended deal, Adams admitted that wasn’t the case

He said: “We can’t do that at this moment in time because of the ownership situation.

“There’s no doubt he’s done really well for us but he’s under contract and we’re happy with the situation.

“A year’s contract isn’t always the club’s point of view. There are reasons for that – I like to keep the players hungry for a start.

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“We do also have options on a lot of the contracts as well.”

McKiernan’s performances have reiterated Adams’ desire to have a goalscoring midfielder at his disposal.

One of the youngster’s predecessors, Aaron Wildig, scored 25 times in 248 appearances for the Shrimps.

Nine of those goals came in 176 matches under Jim Bentley, Stephen Robinson and the caretaker spells of Barry Roche and Kevin Ellison.

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In contrast, Wildig scored 16 times in 72 outings during two spells playing for Adams: an average of a goal every four-and-a-half games.

McKiernan’s Colchester treble sees him averaging one in three with Adams delighted by what’s seen so far.

“JJ’s hat-trick was a really good one but he probably could have scored four,” the manager said.

“He’s playing in a position that benefits him and the team, he’s got an eye for goal and he’s got confidence from being away with Northern Ireland’s Under-21s.”