CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Nesting Bluebirds

This Is Wiltshire: Tom Knighton is one of four players to have agreed a long-term stay at Chippenham Tom Knighton is one of four players to have agreed a long-term stay at Chippenham

NATHAN Rudge says Chippenham Town are in the midst of a transition period but claims plans for the future are regularly being put in place behind the scenes.

The Bluebirds’ boss revealed that he has already begun tying down members of his squad for next season and strikers Lee Phillips and Tom Knighton, midfielder Adie Harris and goalkeeper Ben John have already signed contract extensions at Hardenhuish Park.

Chippenham suffered a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Banbury United last weekend and currently sit 15th in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division.

But manager Rudge does not want to see negativity creep in at his club as he continues his maiden season in the Bluebirds’ hot seat.

“There does seem to be a lot of doom and gloom around sometimes and I’ve got no excuses for our performance last weekend, but I don’t want to see a negative atmosphere come in at the club because that can end up translating to the players,” said Rudge.

“We’ve only been in charge for 20-odd games and there’s still a lot to be done at the club but we’re looking to try and progress.

“There are things going on behind the scenes all the time, that we may not even see the benefits of for a couple of seasons, and we’ve already starting getting players on contracts for next season.

“Lee Phillips, Tom Knighton, Adie Harris and Ben John have already signed and we’re looking to get a lot more done.

“We’re trying to build for the future and that will take time but the only thing we can concentrate on right now is bouncing back this weekend.”

Town are at home to 16th-placed Bideford this Saturday but look set to be without Alex Kite, who was forced off with an ankle injury against Banbury.

James Guthrie missed last weekend’s game with an ankle problem of his own but Luke Ballinger returns to the squad.

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