Having resisted stubbornly the familiar game of speculating wildly throughout the Summer, I must admit that there is one player whose fate fascinates me.
Despite plenty of speculation on Red Passion, there's no reason to suggest that we're interested in tempting Adam Bartlett to The Racecourse. The question, if that is the case, is why not?
Bartlett was released by Kidderminster at the end of the season, along with much of the spine of the side which took them to the fringes of the play-offs. Indeed. they surely would have got into the post season were it not for the horribly packed run-in they had to negotiate, and in the first half of our match at Aggbroough they played as well as any side we faced last season.
It's the second half which brought Bartlett to the attention of Wrexham's fans., in more ways than one! On the pitch he made an impression in the right way, a string of superb saves earning his side a win despite incessant pressure-his point blank stop from Patrick Suffo's first touch as a Wrexham player was particularly memorable.
However, he made a equal impact after the final whistle when he was involved in a very unpleasant exchange with the Wrexham fans behind his goal; he came out of the incident very poorly.
He repeated the positive side of his performance in the return match, another fortuitous Harriers win as both halves followed a similar pattern to the second period at Kidderminster. That only heightened the surprise when he was released.
The high esteem he's held in is illustrated by the fact that he immediately made a rather opportunistic move to Cambridge purely to play in the play-off final, and the fact that the Non-League Paper lauded him in their post-season reviews.
He was allowed to go because Harriers, sadly, are suffering financially, though it seems they are now in a position to offer him and some of the others jetisoned a way back to Aggborough.
To be honest, I hope they accept those terms; we don't want football to be twisted out of shape by the financial downturn, and clubs starting seasons under points handicaps or automatically relegated for off-field matters can't be right (unless it's Chester!!!) I'd rather the Conference retained an organic look, with sides recognisable from one season to the next, but if he must leave, why shouldn't we look to move in? We've got a smashing young lad in Chris Maxwell, but he's not ready yet. He and Bartlett would be a formidable duo at our level.
If he isn't on our radar, I hope that's purely because we have a different, better option in mind, and not because the incident at Aggborogh has soured us against him. After all, Gary Bennett was hardly a popular signing, but he turned out rather well!