EXPERIENCED central defender Nick Fenton was the biggest surprise, and the most high profile, of the six players released by Rotherham United yesterday.
In addition, two further players have been put on the transfer list and all the players on loan have been allowed to return to their clubs with no suggestion of a return.
Those joining Fenton in being released are Stephen Brogan, Luke Ashworth, Jamie Green, Kevin Ellison and young pro Grant Darley.
In addition midfielder Mark Bradley, signed only a year ago, and striker Tom Pope, a £150,000 signing two seasons ago, are being made available for transfer.
After further talks yesterday, Millers manager Andy Scott has made contract offers to Jamie Annerson, Nicky Law, Jason Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Dale Tonge and young midfielder Ollie Banks.
Loan signings Mark Randall from Arsenal, Liam Henderson from Watford and Callum Kennedy from Swindon, have all returned to their clubs.
The experienced Fenton, 32, has been with the Millers three years and made 134 appearances in all including 36 this season although he missed the final game on Saturday.
His previous partnership in centre defence with Ian Sharps was regarded as being as good as any at League Two level and was a key factor in Rotherham reaching the Play-off Final last year.
Due to injuries this season, firstly himself at the start of the season and then to Ryan Cresswell, the ‘replacement’ partnership of Fenton and Cresswell only just touched double figures.
Stephen Brogan was seemingly on course for a career at a higher level when suffering the horrific broken leg at MK Dons in February 2008,
A talented midfielder or left back, he was being watched by higher league clubs at the time but was out of action for two years and did well to come back although he was unable to force his way back into the first team reckoning on a regular basis. He made just a handful of appearances both this season and last.
Left back Jamie Green - who has the distinction of scoring the last-ever goal at Millmoor in 2008 - played last Saturday but has lost out to Tom Newey for the left back spot this season. He came through the club’s ranks.
Kevin Ellison is released at the end of his second season after signing from Chester. The 32-year-old left winger dropped out of favour in the second half of the season and spent the latter part of it on loan at Bradford City.
Central defender Luke Ashworth was signed last Summer from Leyton Orient as centre defence cover. He made 14 appearances in all and started last Saturday in Fenton’s absence, his fifth start.
Young midfielder Grant Darley never got a first team chance but did get on the subs’ bench a couple of times.
Striker Tom Pope, who is being made available for transfer, was signed in a £150,000 deal from Crewe two years ago but has endured a generally difficult time and has scored just six times in 59 appearances.
Boss Scott is also prepared to let go midfielder Mark Bradley who was signed a year ago after being released by Walsall. He made 24 appearances, half of them as a substitute and played last Saturday.