Livingston manager David Martindale is delighted to have signed “ultimate professional” Andrew Shinnie to a new contract for next season as he attempts to deal with the impending loss of some key personnel from his squad this summer.
The 33-year-old former Inverness, Birmingham and Luton midfielder joined the Lions in 2021 and the West Lothian club announced on Wednesday that he had extended his deal until the end of next term.
Martindale is thrilled to have retained Shinnie as he prepares for his “toughest” rebuild yet, with the manager expecting Joel Nouble to be sold and Stephane Omeonga, Nicky Devlin and Jack Fitzwater to leave under freedom of contract.
“I’m going to lose a lot of quality from the squad this year and probably a bit of quantity at the same time so it was imperative I keep as much quality as I possibly can,” he said.
“I’m going to lose a lot of Premiership experience in terms of Joel potentially and definitely Nicky Devlin, Jack Fitzwater and wee Stephane.
“There’s three very big players we’re going to lose in terms of the experience they bring to the team, so it was imperative that we kept Shinnie at the club for the quality that he brings first and foremost but also the experience he brings on and off the park.
“He’s the ultimate professional. Andrew’s probably the most senior one in the group and I think it’s imperative the younger players have someone like him to watch on a day-to-day basis.”
Martindale has grown accustomed to overhauling his low-budget squad each summer but he is braced for a big job in the months ahead.
“I think it’s going to be the toughest one,” he said when asked how the impending rebuild might compare to previous years.
“In terms of numbers, I don’t think it’s going be like year three (in the Premiership) when we had about 13 leaving the club, but I think I’ll be losing 25-30 per cent – potentially a little bit more than that – of the 12-14 players who have played the most football for us.
“The quality I’m going to be losing is going to be more than most years, the quantity a little bit less.”
Livingston recently triggered the option of a one-year contract extension for Nouble, but Martindale expects the club to cash in on the 27-year-old English forward in the summer window.
“The English recruitment doesn’t really kick in until later in the summer,” said the manager when asked about Nouble’s situation.
“I don’t think he’ll be here beyond the summer but I think he’ll be back here for pre-season and there’s a good chance he might be starting the league games in August.
“But I wouldn’t expect him to be here beyond that.”