It's difficult to keep key players, admits Weston boss Craig Laird

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By The Bristol Post | Friday, October 25, 2013, 05:00

CRAIG Laird admits Weston-super-Mare could end up being victims of their own success this season.

Having painstakingly built a squad over three years and established the Seagulls as genuine play-off contenders in Conference South, the manager now faces a struggle to hold on to his best players.

He insists it is a natural consequence of operating within the confines of one of the smallest budgets in the division and is resigned to other key players following Ross Stearn's example and departing the Woodspring Stadium in search of more lucrative deals and higher-grade football.

Former Bristol City midfielder Stearn, pictured, decamped to fellow Conference South outfit Bath City at the end of last season, and rival clubs are suddenly sitting up and taking notice of Weston's remarkable progress under Laird.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's rearranged home game against Hayes & Yeading, Laird said: "We cannot afford to pay the players what they deserve and that's the bottom line.

"If we were paying top dollar, then I would expect them to stay.

"As it is, they can earn more elsewhere and bigger clubs are bound to show an interest.

"That means we've done our job in terms of developing players and we accept them going, providing they move on to a higher level.

"I think young players see us as a stepping stone to better things and I understand that. In the meantime, they get to help us and I'm fine with that arrangement."

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