Peterhead manager Jim McInally has hailed the commitment of the players who have agreed to stay with the club for the new season.
Goalie Lenny Wilson, defender Jason Brown, midfielders Ryan Conroy, Gary Fraser and Andrew McCarthy and strikers Derek Lyle and Ben Armour will all remain with the Blue Toon for next term.
Those seven opting to stay at Balmoor is a boost for boss McInally, who already had captain Scott Brown, Simon Ferry, Alan Cook, Steven Boyd and Aidan Smith signed up for the new campaign.
Striker Isaac Layne and defender Gary MacKenzie have also been signed and McInally is pleased with the squad he’s assembling, although he acknowledges further additions are still required.
With the coronavirus crisis impacting on the club’s finances his budget has had to be reduced, however some players have taken a wage cut to stay with the Buchan outfit.
McInally said: “With the players staying, and Isaac and Gary coming in, we’ve got the decent spine of a team.
“We’ll still need to sign five or six players, but we won’t rush into anything, we’ll see what happens.
“We might manage to get a couple of younger players in and look to use the loan market, although it might not be as fruitful with the five subs rule for the Premiership teams.
“We’ll see what happens but I’m happy with what we’ve got and we can build from the spine of the team we’ve got.
“We’re needing a right-back and a wide player.
“Some players have taken reductions to stay with us and that’s a great gesture.
“I think they expected it, to be fair, but it’s good of them and it shows that they’re not just coming to the club for money, they’re coming because they want to play for the club.
“What they’ve done has helped the club and we’re grateful to them for that.”
McInally is also starting to prepare for a return to pre-season training.
With Nicola Sturgeon indicating last week that supporters may be able to return to stadiums in September, Scotland’s longest-serving manager is hopeful, when Peterhead start their season on October 6 in the League Cup group stage, fans will be present.
McInally added: “We’ve got time when it comes to signing and attention turns to when we can start training again, so we’re thinking about that.
“There was good news about crowds in September, so hopefully by the time we’re playing in October we’ll be able to have crowds.
“We know what we’ll do when it comes to the testing situation as well, but we’d rather not be testing. Hopefully by the time we’re training, we won’t need to.”