FORMER Newcastle striker Paul Brayson has been cut free from York City as manager Colin Walker hones his squad ahead of today's transfer window closure.

The 30-year-old Brayson, together with 19-year-old midfielder Chas Wrigley, had their contracts terminated by mutual consent, thereby making them free agents.

City boss Walker told The Press both players exited with the club's best wishes.

He said: "The two of them are at different ends of the playing spectrum, but after chats with both of them we feel they can go and get sorted out elsewhere.

"Paul Brayson is of an age where he needs to be playing every week. With the run we have had, he's not been able to get in the team.

"He wants to play first-team football. He does not want to be sat on the bench or playing in the reserves, so hopefully he can get a new club and have a good finish to his career."

It is believed several clubs have been tracking Brayson, of whom Walker added: "It's only because he was ill for three or four weeks that Paul did not get in the team. There are now people in front of him. He goes with our blessings."

The same good wishes were accorded Wrigley. Said the City boss: "He's not really had much chance and he wants to sort himself out. He's a fantastic kid who works hard and he also goes with our best blessing."

Brayson arrived at City as one of then manager Billy McEwan's first summer recruits as he sought to transform last season's play-off reaching squad into promotion challengers.

However, Brayson took time to settle, as did the majority of McEwan's close-season captures.

As City's great expectations withered under a poor start to the campaign - worsened by the FA Cup humiliation to Havant & Waterlooville at KitKat Crescent in mid-November - McEwan paid the ultimate price with his sacking as City boss.

Now his successor Walker has deemed Brayson too can go, with a brace of clubs tracking the man who first started his professional career in illustrious megastar company at Newcastle.

After a handful of appearances for the Magpies, Brayson joined Reading in a £100,000 deal before moving to Cardiff and later Cheltenham.

Released by then Cheltenham boss John Ward, the ex-City manager, Brayson had a brief trial spell at KitKat Crescent before opting to go part-time with Northwich, combining playing with running his own taxi.

He made a big impact at Drill Field, where he was top scorer with 18 goals last season, and he jumped at the chance to return to the professional ranks under McEwan.

However, his appearances in the City first-team have been fitful, neither establishing himself in his preserved position as a striker or even when deployed wide on the right.

Brayson will go down in this season's record-books for bagging the goal that clinched City's first victory of the term when he returned to Northwich to hammer a Marco Van Basten type stoppage-time volley that earned all three points on August 27.

In all, he made 18 Blue Square Premier and cup outings for the Minstermen with a further seven as a substitute. He scored four goals, his last being in the 3-1 home defeat on November 17 by Salisbury, the last defeat City suffered.