After a first season only at a national club, I took on a newly-promoted BSN club, Worksop Town in early July. Almost all of the players are greyed-out with no options for Player Interaction (there are also about two or three regular players, largely loans) that are listed as "free." Should I assume that this works like a reserve team and that they don't exist but can be used temporarily? More specifically:
1. Do I need to build a team from scratch (which would be cool)?
2. Will more "real" players show up in the squad? i.e. when regens generally happen.
3. Will I ever be able to offer contracts to these greyed players?
4. If not, how long can I use them? Some have really good stats for BS.
Yep, this pretty much works like a reserve team. It's likely that you'll get quite a few players promoted as your 'real' squad size is small but there'll also be a lot of team building to be done.
With regard to 3) and 4) - no, you can't offer contracts (though this is something that has been repeatedly requested and may change in the future). You'll basically be able to use them till you fill up your squad with 'real' players, but the same grey players aren't really likely to stick around from week to week - think of them as persons you've borrowed from the local park.