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Date: 28-04-08 Yates clears the decks for the new crop
Mark Yates commenced on the end of season clearout today by not giving new contracts to three players.  There was no real surprise in Jonny Harkness and Michael Blackwood not being given another season but Jon Munday less so after not having been given much chance to prove himself before being sent out on loan to Worcester City at the beginning of January.

Munday will now probably sign terms with Worcester especially in light of his winning of the player of the month award for April last week.

Iyseden Christie Harkness has agreed to sign for the Irish side Linfield and Michael Blackwood was at Oxford Utd before getting injured.  Utd have not said yet that they will be signing him but it looks very unlikely.

Six members of the current team have been offered new contracts now that their existing ones have expired.

Iyseden Christie is the one that will interest the majority of fans, and other teams, after he asked for a two year contract but the club seem to be stalling on this even though an equally valuable member of the side, Mark Creighton, was given a new two year contract two weeks ago.  It's imperative that Iyseden is treated fairly and given the same terms as his team mate.  Not to do so would seem a slur on him and his fans but even more so on Yates himself if he was to shoot himself in the foot because of stubbornness.

The others to be offered - and I say offered but not signed - new contracts are Brian Smikle, Simon Russell, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Andy Ferrell and Dean Coleman.

Gavin Hurren and Chris MacKenzie are still talking to the club about their contracts.

All the loanees have returned to their respective clubs.  Dean Bennett (Chester City), Darryl Knights (Yeovil Town), Alex Jeannin (Oxford Utd) and Michael Wylde (Cheltenham).  Jake Moult has already been told by his club, Plymouth Argyle, that he has been released.

The only one that I'd like to see back is Knights but wouldn't say no to Wylde.  The rest I have not been impressed with.

We still await news on the future of Justin Richards now that he has returned from a less than convincing loan spell at Oxford but has another year to run on his contract.


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