Macc will cope without Dennis
MACCLESFIELD Town goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan insists the club will be able to cope next season despite losing leading scorer Kristian Dennis.
Dennis spent the last campaign on loan at the Silkmen from Stockport County, scoring 22 league goals.
Macc had hoped he may stay at the club, but he has instead signed with League One side Chesterfield.
While Branagan knows Dennis will be a big miss, he is confident that the team can still have success next season.
“I’m really happy for Kristian but it is sad to see him go, but we’ve seen before losing people isn’t necessarily a new thing,” Branagan told the club’s official website.
“We lost Connor Jennings and Scott Boden, and the year after we only just missed out.
“During that season we didn’t really have a prolific goal scorer as such and matches were won through the hard work of the 11 on the pitch. However the gaffer does have a knack for finding a gem upfront so it’s exciting to see how things pan out in terms of players incoming.”
While Macclesfield may have dropped away from play-off contention dur- ing the second half of last season, Branagan believes they showed they can compete with the top teams.
“We have to take the positives – and there were plenty of them – and take them into next season. Only that way we can push forward,” he said.
“We set the bar so high a couple of years ago with the play-off push and that’s the standard that we have to strive for every season.
“There’s something about this club and the people at the club that brings the best out of me. I was happy with the games I played and my aims are to take that straight into next season.
“For example, the games I played against Eastleigh and Tranmere. I want to show the fans 40 performances like that so I’m already excited to get back in.
“The gaffer has done an incredible job over the last three years. He’s built this squad of players on a small budget. The players want to play for him and want to play for each other each season.
“That kind of atmosphere is rare, and it’s a major factor in why we are able to compete at the top end of the table.
“Knowing the lads, they’ll have the same mindset as me going into next season. Personally I’m feeling very optimistic we can achieve something special.”
Branagan is currently enjoying a well-earned rest, but he admits the players need to stay active before pre-season starts.
“Through the years I’ve learned that in June you’re effectively giving yourself a pre-pre-season to make sure you’re ready to go come July,” he said.
“The fitter you are, the more you enjoy it. I look forward to it a lot more now than I used to.”
●● Kristian Dennis celebrates after scoring against Chester