WEYMOUTH are set to go full-time next season, chairman Martyn Harrison today revealed.
Terras bosses are finalising running costs but say it is ‘highly likely’ they will abandon current part-time status in the summer.
The switch is imminent after Roy O’Brien, Bradley Thomas, Danny Byrne, Ludovic Cadima and Darren Wheeler all pledged their long-term futures to the club this week.
Thomas, Byrne and Cadima are planning to move to the town, sharing a house recently rented by the Terras and the Conference South outfit will do their daily training at Budmouth Technology College, home of the club’s youth academy.
And Harrison admitted going full-time will be top of the agenda at a Weymouth board meeting tomorrow. He said: “We’re currently looking at all the figures and what is needed but it’s highly likely we’ll be full-time next season.
“In a way, we’re already a full-time side in many respects because lads like Kirk Jackson and now Roy O’Brien, Francisco Ramos, Bradley Thomas, Danny Byrne, Ludovic Cadima and Darren Wheeler are all full-time footballers.
“Switching to full-time status would obviously mean an increase in costs because we would need a full-time backroom staff.
“But in terms of the players, the costs would be manageable because we’ve now got people at the club on reasonable contracts.
“The signings over the last week really signals our intentions and Danny, Ludo and Brad will be moving to the town and living in a house we have rented.
“The boys just want to play football and hopefully Kieren Keane will be joining them soon in signing a long-term deal, but he just needs to play in a couple more games before that happens.
“The fact the lads are moving down here underlines their commitment to the club and at the end of the season we’ll sit down with them again and discuss their deals for next season.
“The manager Steve Johnson, who is moving to Portesham shortly, also deserves a great deal of credit because he has turned the club around in a short space of time.
“He has got the place buzzing again and fully deserved his new contract last week.”
Harrison added that should the switch to full-time happen over the summer, the Terras plan to train each day at Budmouth Technology College.
“We’re in talks with Budmouth and hope we can come to an arrangement with them,” he said. “The facilities there are ideal for what we would need, especially as there is an indoor hall to use during the winter.
“Going full-time is the logical next step for us to go but there would be a few things that would be uncertain if that was to happen.
“A number of our current players, like Jason Matthews, Ian Hutchinson and Simon Browne, currently have good jobs and they would need to decide what they wanted to do.
“Ian and Simon’s contract expires at the end of this season and we’ll sit down with them at the end of the term before deciding what to do.
“It may be that they can stay in a part-time role, if the manager wants to keep them, but we’ll have to wait and see.”