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Story posted: Wednesday, 27th October 2004

Brown & Barrett are wanted men!
Rovers' manager Gary Norton faces a struggle to keep his successful side together as clubs continue to try and prise away key players from the Moat Ground.
Runcorn want to take ex-Derby County left sided player Karl Brown and now Hednesford Town have served a notice of approach for influential midfielder Jamie Barrett.

Norton commented: "We have in recent weeks received a lot of interest in a number of players, particularly those that are doing well in our side at the moment. I suppose if you have a good side then it's part of the territory that other clubs will come and try and take your better players from you. It's not just players that other clubs want to prise away, my coach Steve Hinks has had one club interested in him and in recent weeks I've had interest from two clubs myself. On the playing side, we are trying our hardest to keep a settled squad of players together but if and when players move on we need to be in a position to react quickly and bring in players of equal if not better quality. Part of our good start to the season has been down to keeping a settled squad but if other clubs come and take your players away, what can you do? We have a small number of players contracted with the club but unfortunately the club doesn't have the resources necessary to put all its top players on a contract. As a result, other clubs are free to try and tempt my players away."

Norton seemed resigned to losing Brown to Runcorn but has not yet given up hope. "I spoke with Karl about Runcorn after last nights game at Rocester and again today. He stands to more than double his money but he's not overly interested in that. The main fact is that its Conference North football and its obviously much nearer his home base of Liverpool. On the plus side and in our favour is that fact that he's part of a successful side here at the moment and he's really enjoying his football. If Karl does go then it will be with the best wishes of us all. We simply cannot compete with the budgets of teams in the Conference leagues so we will have to wait and see what Karl decides to do. He will be in our squad for the weekends game at Osset and if he decides to go, I've put to him that he would make himself available for our FA Trophy tie against Frickley as Runcorn are playing in the same competition and he is cup tied with us. The balls in Karl's court now and we await his decision after he's spoken to Runcorn."

Barrett has been a big part of Rovers side for the last three season and has often had interest from other clubs. He is an integral part of the current side and a player the manager is not keen to lose "With regard to Jamie, we only received the notice of approach today (Weds). I've spoken to Jamie and made him aware of the situation and we will be doing our best to persuade him to remain here. He's a great player and his form this season has been second to none. As a result it's not surprising that clubs are interested in signing him. He has played every game this season up to being rested for the league cup against Rocester and his form has kept quality players like Andy Simpson and Carl Slater out of the side at times. Jamie is a local lad and not motivated by money. He's settled here and the fact that Hednesford are only a few places above us in the pyramid might not be enough for him to move. Even if the money on offer is better he has many other factors to consider such as the extra travelling involved for games and training."
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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