Chelmsford City have released four players following their play-off heartbreak.
The Clarets were controversially knocked out the play-offs following a stoppage time penalty at Welling United.
Goals from Tom Wraight and substitute Jonny Giles had seen City claw themselves back level after being two-goals behind. Brendan Kiernan’s injury time penalty shattered hopes of promotion; City face a twelfth season in the National League South.
Clarets boss Rod Stringer is likely to face a rebuild job at the Melbourne Community Stadium; however, the near completion of a transfer in ownership by Betsi could provide some financial stability.
Having impressed throughout the season, Stringer is likely to face competition in retaining some of his star performers.
As a result, the former Bishop’s Stortford boss has been forced to offload some of his squad.
The Clarets announced late yesterday evening that goalkeeper Nathan McDonald was the first player to depart; Rhys Murphy was also confirmed as leaving City earlier today.
Chelmsford’s top-scorer was linked to a move away from the Club, with clubs keen to sign both Murphy and Scott Fenwick.
McDonald, 27, was signed following the departure of Ross Worner early in the season. Since moving to the Clarets, the former Braintree Town ‘keeper has made 35 appearances for the Clarets and kept nine clean sheets.
Tweeting about his departure, the experienced goalkeeper said: “I would like to wish everyone at Chelmsford City all the best for next season, it’s been a great season making semi final of the play offs. Such a good bunch of lads.”
Limited game time
Also set to leave the Club are defensive duo Matt Young and Kiran Khinda-John, along with midfielder Taylor Miles.
Young, 25, joined the Club for his second spell ahead of the 2018/19 campaign but found game time limited. Having dropped down the pecking order behind Joe Anderson and Elliot Omozusi, the wide defender made twenty appearances.
Similarly for Khinda-John, 23, the former Eastbourne Borough defender has made just seven appearanes in all competitions. The tall defender impressed when featuring, but a string of injuries meant opportunities were at a premium.
Having played a key role in City’s push for the play-offs in the 2017-18 season, Miles dropped down the pecking order last term. Falling below the likes of Anthony Church, Chez Isaac eventually Billy Knott and even player-coach Max Porter, Miles ended last season winning promotion with Cheshunt through the play-offs.
With City keen to improve their promotion credentials for next term, the Clarets are likely to announce a full retained list in the next few days.