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Martin Foyle releases seven players as Ben Purkiss turns down York City deal
But Minstermen chief Martin Foyle is hoping Northampton-based defender Luke Graham will commit his future to the club despite his geographical reservations, and midfielder Levi Mackin has also been offered a new deal.
As reported on our website, thepress.co.uk yesterday, Foyle released seven senior players following City’s 3-1 Blue Square Premier play-off final defeat against Oxford at the weekend.
Josh Mimms, Richard Pacquette, Jamie Clarke and Kevin Gall have all been given free transfers, while Craig Nelthorpe, Alan O’Hare and Simon Russell were also told they were surplus to requirements after ending the season on loan with Luton, Gainsborough and Cambridge respectively.
Midfielder Paul Harsley and winger Courtney Pitt, meanwhile, have returned to their parent clubs and Adam Smith and Djoumin Sangare are expected to be invited back for pre-season to prove their form and fitness before decisions over their futures are made.
Youth-team pair Dean Lisles and Jamie Hopcutt have been offered non-contract terms with 11 players – Michael Ingham, David McGurk, Daniel Parslow, James Meredith, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett, Chris Carruthers, Michael Rankine, Richard Brodie, Michael Gash and Andy McWilliams – already under contract for 2010/11.
Speaking about out-of-contract trio Purkiss, Graham and Mackin, Foyle said: “Luke Graham has done great since coming in. He’s a good pro and we have had a good chat.
“He enjoys working for me and we get on well together. He will be talking the contract over with his missus, so we will have to wait and see.
“Levi has also taken his contract away to look at, but Ben has turned down a second offer. The door is still open and I might try to help him in another way, but I have to keep looking for other players in any case.”
The City boss added that he might consider a permanent move for Harsley, but would not be pursuing his interest in Pitt.
He said: “The door is still open with Hars. His wages at Chesterfield are nowhere near what I could offer but we will keep in touch. We took Courtney on short term but he probably did not deliver as much as we hoped.”
Foyle was loathe to criticise any of the players who failed to make his retained list however, saying: “I’d like to thank all the players for their contributions.
“They have all done well and have had a part to play in our mini success but, unfortunately, we came up a bit short.”
Explaining Smith and Sangare’s situations, Foyle said: “Talks are ongoing with Adam and Jimmy and I’ve given them honest opinions about what I need. Adam was fantastic before Christmas and Jimmy also did really well but I haven’t seen enough of them in terms of appearances.
“The ball is in their court really. If they come back and do the business for me, I will look after them.”
Foyle explained that the decision to release reserve ’keeper Mimms could work in the player’s best interests after he only made two first-team appearances last season.
“It’s been done partly to help Josh,” the City manager said. “His attitude has been fantastic and he’s never been a problem for me or let me down.
“But sometimes you can wear people down in football and I think he’s in that situation. I hope he will be thanking me in three months’ time when he’s playing regular first-team football somewhere else.”
Foyle will now be considering his options as he looks to replace Mimms.
He is undecided on the future of goalkeeper coach Simon Miotto, who is also registered as a player, until he has full details of his wage budget for next season.
Foyle also added that it would be too early to promote highly-rated youth-team ’keeper Ben White to the first-team squad, saying: “He’s only a first year and needs a fair bit of coaching but he might be ready in 12 months or two years’ time.
“I’ll still be looking for somebody to put pressure on Michael Ingham though. You can always use the loan market and the talks with Simon are ongoing.
“I’ve spoken to the chairman and I need to know exactly what I can do. If we had got into the Football League, it might have been a bit more.”
Foyle admitted that missing out on promotion also influenced his decision to only retain the services of centre-back Lisles and winger Hopcutt from the second-year apprentices who helped last season’s youth team finish runners-up in the Football League Youth Alliance North East Conference table with Kingsley Wetherald, Adam Scorfield, Nick Thompson, Ryan Qualter, Dom Brown and Michael Duckworth all released.
The City manager now intends to ensure Lisles and Hopcutt both get a quick taste of senior football.
He said: “Dean Lisles is probably a bit stronger and we will be looking to get him out on loan. Jamie Hopcutt has been eye-catching in boys’ football but has a slighter build so we will see how he looks in the summer before deciding whether he is ready to play against men.
“We will be looking after them and the only reason we have offered them non-contract terms is because if they were on professional terms they can only go to three clubs on loan during the season.”
Another former youth-team graduate Andy McWilliams could further his experience away from the club too during the second year of his professional contract, having only made three substitute appearances for the first team last season.
Foyle added: “Andy was given a two-year contract last summer as a reward for playing 20 games for me. I saw some potential but we raised the bar last summer and attracted better players who have done well.
“He will have another chance to break into the team during pre-season. Otherwise, we will look to get him out on loan to continue his development.”
York City squad
Contracted: James Meredith, David McGurk, Daniel Parslow, Michael Gash, Andy McWilliams, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett, Michael Rankine, Richard Brodie, Michael Ingham, Chris Carruthers.
In talks: Djoumin Sangare, Adam Smith, Simon Miotto.
Contracts offered: Ben Purkiss, Levi Mackin, Luke Graham, Dean Lisles, Jamie Hopcutt.
Released: Richard Pacquette, Josh Mimms, Jamie Clarke, Kevin Gall, Alan O’Hare, Simon Russell, Craig Nelthorpe, Ryan Qualter, Kingsley Wetherald, Dominic Brown, Michael Duckworth, Adam Scorfield, Nick Thompson.
Loans ended: Paul Harsley (Chesterfield), Courtney Pitt (Cambridge).
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