Chester FC: Six players released as Blues begin summer overhaul


Charlie Croasdale

CHESTER have released six of Jon McCarthy’s first-team squad as the Blues begin a summer overhaul at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.

Elliott Durrell, Johnny Hunt, Kane Richards and Blaine Hudson, all first-team regulars this past season, have failed to secure new contracts with Chester, while Kieran Evans and Ross Killock, who missed most of last season through injury, have also been released.

On-loan duo Theo Vassell and back-up goalkeeper Liam Roberts have both returned to parent club Walsall, while Ryan Lloyd has also returned to Port Vale, but the Blues may look to secure a permanent deal for the midfielder when his contract expires in July.

Sam Hughes and James Alabi have both been offered new deals but look set to move on after telling Chester they wish to explore their options.

Key components of McCarthy’s first-team who are on the retained list and have been offered new deals include club captain Luke George and the club’s Football Writers’ Player of the Year Tom Shaw, who was arguably the Blues’ most consistent performer across the past season.

Goalkeeper Alex Lynch, who has shone between the posts with a string of dazzling displays since gaining the gloves in October, has been offered fresh terms, as has defender Ryan Astles and centre forward James Akintunde, who only made a return from a six-month absence with a knee injury for the final four games of the season.

Evan Horwood, Wade Joyce, Jordan Chapell and fans’ favourite Craig Mahon look set to stay after being offered new deals, while Matty Waters is also set to remain with the club. It remains to be seen whether Lucas Dawson and Liam Davies will be handed new deals.

A club statement explained: “Letting players go is one of the toughest things we have to do but we have to make tough decisions as we make our plans to be more competitive next season,” he said.

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to all of the players for their efforts on behalf of Chester FC this season and wish them all the very best for their future careers.”

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