STAGS RELEASE 8 WHILE WILSON JOINS CHESTER
Shirtliff axes eight in Mill clearout
CHAD website, 11May2006
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff showed the door to eight players today as he began his rebuilding for next season.
Kevin Pressman, Rhys Day, Gus Uhlenbeek, Jason Talbot, Fraser McLachlan, Adam Rundle, Kyle Jacobs and Alan Russell were all told they would not be offered new deals.
Everyone else on the books is either already under contract or has been offered a new deal.
Shirtliff said he had been given an initially positive response by those players that they wanted to stay. They now have until 20th May to officially accept.
He will also speak to players still under contract, inlcuding top scorer Richie Barker, to discuss extensions.
However, it has been reported today that Lawrence Wilson, who impressed on a three month loan deal from Everton at the end of the season, has rejected an offer from Stags to join on a permanent basis and signed for League Two rivals Chester City nearer his Merseyside home.
The clearout leaves Shirtliff with 15 players, including inexperienced teenager Nathan Arnold but doesn't include three youth team players who have been given pro deals of varying lengths in Danny Sleath, Chris Wood and Austin McIntosh.
He will be looking to add another three or four new names to that squad.
Shirtliff said it wasn't an easy job releasing the eight first team players.
"I am pleased with what they did for me and the club and we wish them well," he said.
"There was nothing personal involved. It's just that I am moving in a different direction.
"There is no point in keeping players if I don't think they can play for the first team and that's the direction I've gone in.
"I have been honest with them and told them straight. Good luck to them and I hope they can go on and have successful futures.
"It wasn't a pleasant thing to have to do. But all I could be was honest and straightfoward and I think they appreciated my honesty with them."
He added: "All the players I have spoken to about new deals were quite positive in terms of staying at the club.
"I am confident that we have the nucleus of a good squad and I just need to tweak it here and there.
"I am looking to bring three, maybe four, new faces in though I have nothing to report on that front right now."
Shirtliff confirmed one of those players will be a goalkeeper.
Jason White was given the chance to show what he could do in the final three games of the season and, with Pressman now released, Shirtliff said; "I will bring in a keeper. Then it's up to Jason and whoever to compete for the No.1 spot."
Central defender Jon Olav Hjelde intimated a while back that he would be returning home to Norway at the end of the season.
But Shirtliff feels he might still persuade the experienced defender to play another season and has offered him a deal.
"Jon is away in Norway right now visiting relatives.
"I know he has said in the past that he may pack the game in at the end of this season. But I have told him I think he is too young at 33 and reminded him you only get one career.
"I am hopeful he will decide to have another season with us.
"He missed a lot of pre-season last year and I think that affected him at the start of the season.
"But once he got in a run of form I thought he formed good partnerships with both Alex John-Baptiste and Jake Buxton."
Stags are back in for pre-season training on 28th June.
Stags Release eight
Stags' boss peter Shirtliff today confirmed that he would not be offering new deals to eight of his out of contract players:
Shirtliff said "I have been happy with what they have done for me and the club so I wish them well for their future careers. It is just that I am moving in a different direction now so I cannot see the point in keeping a player hanging on if there isn't much chance of them getting first team football"
The other out of contract players have all been offered new improved deals and have until 20 May to mull over their futures.
"I have offered new deals to all the other players that are out of contract but now I have to wait until May 20 for an answer. Some of the other players like Simon Brown and Richard Barker I will be talking to about extending their existing contracts. It should only take a little bit of tweaking and I am hopeful of sorting it out." He added
meanwhile rumours are abound that Laurence Wilson whom Shirtliff offered a two year deal to has chosen to sign for Chester City. Although this has not been confirmed at this time.
"I offered Laurence a deal. I like him and wanted to keep him at this club but there is talk that he has chosen to sign for Chester. Which I suppose is closer to where he lives in Liverpool. I am disappointed but if he has signed for them there is nothing I can do about it now"
Meanwhile the Stags' supremo is looking at bringing in three or four new faces to build around the nucleus of his squad which he says will be able to compete at a higher level. one player he is looking at will be in place of Kevin Pressman in goal and 'It is up to Jason (White) and the new keeper to battle it out for the number one place'
Chester City have signed left back Laurence Wilson (20) from Everton.
The England Under-19 midfielder signed professional terms with Everton in November 2004 and has featured in their reserves team on a regular basis.
Wilson made the first-team squad for the Champions League qualifier with Villarreal which also saw Everton's exit from the competition.
Wilson had spent time out on loan at Coca Cola League Two rivals Mansfield Town is seen as a bright prospect.