BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower has explained why a young trio have left the club, as he gets set for a busy summer of shaping his squad.

Jordan Windass, Akeem Hinds and Luke Rawson are all departing with their contracts having run out, and Bower said: “They’re young players who want regular football, and need it.

“As a club, you want to make a few changes every summer to keep improving, and we just didn’t think they would get the game time they were after next season.

“But they all had an impact at times this season, so we’re grateful to them, and I hope going forward they get more games in their careers and keep pushing themselves.”

Two players who Avenue were more reluctant to lose were veterans Nicky Clee and Mark Ross.

Bower said: “They’re two quality players who served the club really well over the years.

“Nicky’s quality and ability on the ball made him a fans’ favourite and at 38, it was unbelievable how he was able to keep up with full-time players. It was a reflection of his character.

“But we’ve got extra teams in the league and a few more travels next year, with the likes of King’s Lynn, Peterborough Sports and Banbury coming in, and that was an aspect in Nicky not being able to commit to us going forward.

“Rossy’s got his business which is doing well and he wants to focus his time and effort on that.

“That’s going to look after him for life, and while he’s shown great dedication to football, it was only part-time for him, and he’s reluctantly taking a step back.

“We’re grateful for everything they’ve done, and it’s a couple of holes we need to fill now.”

Lewis Knight (Notts County) and Taylor Ragan (Leeds) have gone back to their parent clubs for now, and Bower said: “We’ll wait and see what happens with those two for us. Lewis is involved in the play-offs for Notts County for example so he’s still training every day.

“There’s a lot of players out of contract at this time of year too, and we’re trying to tie down a few of our key players from the season just gone.

“Work is ongoing on that, and we’re looking to bring in a couple of new faces over the next couple of weeks.

“We’re hoping to keep people on but add quality too, trying to unearth those hidden gems and trialists.

“But some of the lads who had the biggest impact this season came in after it had started, like Dylan Mottley-Henry, Simon Richman and George Sykes-Kenworthy.

“So we’ll always be on the lookout further into the season too for new faces.”

Avenue owner Gareth Roberts told the T&A earlier this month that the club’s priorities lie off the field still, but Bower said: “That what we’ve signed up for and that’s how it’s going to be.

“Farsley and Telford, who have far greater resources than us, had their players carried off the pitch when they stayed up, which was a bit of a shame for us, as we’d secured safety weeks before, but had our season end on a damp squib.

“But I get told by those above what I can work with and I just concentrate on that.

“Off the field, we’re trying to get the academy and the ground in order, and we hope that can make us more competitive over time.

“We still need to push on now and do better than this year, but if we can get a couple of wins like we did midway through the season and put that together more consistently, we could be looking up towards the top half.

“The main thing is still making sure we can compete at this level though.”