In these unprecedented times, no one knows what is happening with football. It’s on an enforced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s no real sign of when this will be lifted. There’ll be a logistical backlog of games to get through. Aside from that, there is also the need to consider player contract situations – the projected end date for the season being past the traditional 30 June cut-off point for contracts.
Wycombe sit in 8th place in League One but only five points separate them and Rotherham in 2nd – the last of the automatic promotion places. It is a congested top third of the table with Wycombe (59 pts) pulling away from 9th place Doncaster (54 pts) and top spot Coventry (67 pts) five ahead of Rotherham in 2nd. It is also a campaign that will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic which has cut a temporary halt to proceedings. Many are wondering what effect this will have on contracts due to end. Here are five Wycombe players whose contracts run out at the end of June,
Adebayo Akinfenwa (centre-forward): Perennial FIFA strongest player Akinfenwa is one Wanderer whose contract runs out at the end of June. The 37-year-old has been at the club since early July 2016 after signing on a free transfer from AFC Wimbledon. Since signing for Wycombe, Akinfenwa has played 173 games, scored 53 goals and provided 37 assists. Of those totals, 32 games, 10 goals and six assists have come this season; his goals and assists being 35% of Wycombe’s goal participation share this season.
Sido Jombati (centre-back): 32-year-old Portuguese centre-back Jombati signed for Wycombe on a free transfer from Cheltenham at the start of July 2014. He started at Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, leaving their youth set-up in 2002 for fellow Portuguese side Casa Pia’s Under-19s – first arriving in English football with Exeter City in 2005. Since arriving at the club, Jombati has gone on to make 185 appearances scoring seven goals and adding six assists. This season has seen the Portuguese defender turn equally at centre-back and right-back in his 10 appearances for Wycombe with seven of these being in League One.
Anthony Stewart (centre-back): London-born Stewart has come up through the youth ranks at Wycombe, graduating into the first-team set-up at the start of July 2011. He’s experienced one loan out at Crewe Alexandra, for whom he featured 10 times. Since the step up to first-team football, Stewart has made 214 appearances for the Chairboys, scoring 14 goals and adding seven assists. This season 27-year-old Stewart has turned out 34 times for Wycombe, scoring twice in games against Southend and Tranmere as well as laying on three assists.
Alex Pattison (central midfield): Pattison was a July 2019 arrival ay Wycombe after being released by boyhood club Middlesbrough for whom he’d been on the books with since the age of nine. His only football away from Boro before his move to Wycombe was two loan spells at York City and Yeovil Town. This season the Darlington-born 22-year-old has featured 17 times for the Chairboys, weighing in with two assists.
Jacob Gardiner-Smith (defensive midfield): 22-year-old Gardiner-Smith’s route to Wycombe is one that starts in January 2017 in Russia with Zenit St Petersberg who signed him onto their books. He spent 18 months in Russia before a free transfer to non-league side St Albans City in late September 2018, moving to fellow non-league side Hendon Town four months later in late-January 2019. Wycombe snapped him up in late-July last year, loaning him out to Braintree Town in December. His loan at Braintree ended on March 24. Since being at the Chairboys, Gardiner-Smith has featured three times in the Checkatrade Trophy.