STUDLEY boss Paul Smith is hoping to retain the majority of his squad for the 2014/15 season.

Smith wants to keep 12 of last season’s group and after talks with the players he is hopeful.

The manager and squad are due to go on an end-of-season trip to Benidorm in June.

With the Midland Combination and Alliance now amalgamated into one league, players cannot be signed until July 1.

Smith said: “I have spoken to the board about what I would like to do next season and I am very excited looking forward.

“It’s hard to tell at this stage because a player may verbally agree to sign but because they can’t be registered until July 1 anything can happen in the mean time.

“I always organise a weekend away at the end of the season as a team-bonding exercise and usually the players who attend that will play for us next season.”

Studley have also stepped up their preparations for next season by organising four friendly clashes, with the club in the process of trying to arrange three more.

They play Perrywoods on Saturday, July 5 (3pm ko), Redditch United on the Astroturf 3G pitch on July 12 (3pm ko), Stratford at home on July 24 (7.45pm ko) and travel to play Sutton United on July 26 (3pm ko).

Smith is also looking for a new coach after two key departures from his backroom staff.

Andy Mason has left to focus on his scouting, while Graham Scott has re-joined Bromsgrove Sporting as Director of Football.

“Andy’s scouting has really taken off and he’s also got one or two other things in the fire, so he can’t commit to what we need.

“Graham has been asked to return by Sporting in a Director of Football role.

“They have both been great and we wish them all the best in the future.

“So I am looking for a coach who has good knowledge, lots of enthusiasm and the spare time.

“They don’t have to have qualifications but a good knowledge of the game is important.”

Smith took over as manager last season after the club had been relegated from the Midland Alliance and rebuilt the team.

But their season was disrupted by one of the wettest winters in recorded history and a series of injuries.

After a frustrating end to the season, the Bees finished sixth in theMidland Combination Premier.

Anyone interested in the coaching position at Studley should call Smith on 07779 576869.