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Stamford AFC will face a fight to keep their talented players if the Northern Premier League South East Division is null and void for a second successive season

Daniels manager Graham Drury fears his biggest battle will be trying to keep his talented Stamford squad together for a third successive season if the current campaign becomes null and void again.

The Stamford boss thinks holding back his current crop of players from moving on to a higher level could prove to be his sternest challenge as the coronavirus pandemic has so far curtailed the Daniels' plans to rise up the non-league pyramid.

They were in second spot last season when the campaign was ended early and are currently unbeaten this term in the Northern Premier League South East Division.

Cosmos Matwasa. (44269482)
Cosmos Matwasa. (44269482)

However, they haven't played a league match since October 24 and hopes are fading on a positive ending to this season.

The Daniels are awaiting the outcome of a survey conducted by the Football Association on how clubs wish to conclude a league campaign which is already suspended until March 6.

Drury said: "It's now about trying to keep hold of these players because I don't think we are going to kick a ball again this season which is frustrating.

"We had a puncher's chance against Hereford in the FA Trophy last month and, if we had got through, we would have had another game this weekend.

"We could have carried on training, but I'm afraid that we can't get the boys in now so we will have to wait and see what happens.

"It will be the biggest challenge because I did well to keep the squad together after last season.

James Blunden. (44269484)
James Blunden. (44269484)

"We have had a lot of seven day approaches for players this season. I have told them that we've got something special at the club and will have a real chance of promotion.

"We want to get ourselves up to the next level and there won't be a better football club that support their players than Stamford.

"I don't think it would be the right move for them to go and they have stuck by me which is great credit to the players.

"They believe in what I am trying to do, but it is going to be very difficult to hold them back for another year."

The highly-rated trio of Rob Morgan, James Blunden and Cosmos Matwasa have all been the subject of seven-day transfer approaches this season.

However, they all rejected the chance to move away from the Zeeco Stadium despite an on-off campaign due to the pandemic.

The Daniels have played just seven of their scheduled 38 league games after enjoying good runs in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy competitions which included the higher level scalps of Stourbridge and Kidderminster Harriers.

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