Millwall boss welcomes defenders' extended deals

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris said Byron Webster and Joe Martin “showed their quality as players and as men” this season as he welcomed their contract extensions with the club.

After recent speculation over their futures, Millwall announced this week both defenders will remain with the Lions for at least another season.

Webster and Martin endured disappointing ends to the season. Centre-back Webster limped off in as he was warming up before the play-off final against Barnsley, while Martin broke down with a calf injury in the 43rd minute of the 3-1 defeat at Wembley last Sunday.

Both were crucial to getting that far in the first place and Harris is pleased their futures have been resolved.

“Joe Martin activated a clause in his contract by playing a certain number of games, so he’s with us next season,” Harris said.

“Byron Webster will also stay for another year. Whatever happened in the play-off final he was going to stay with us. I’m delighted and he’s delighted. Byron and Joe really stepped up in the last few months of the season when they showed their quality as players and as men as well.”

Meanwhile, Harris said there won’t be wholesale changes to the squad during the summer. The Lions boss confirmed the release of seven players this week.

The likes of Jamie Philpot, Kyron Farrell and Kris Twardek – regulars in Justin Skinner’s U21 side this season – along with Alfie Pavey, will be given opportunities to stake their first-team places.

But Harris, as he did last summer, reiterated his desire to maintain a trim squad.

“The majority of the team are young players who have come through and will all be involved next year,” Harris said. “We’re looking at three if not four positions. Again, I don’t want a big squad, I want a competitive squad.

“I want competition for places.”

Image Source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly