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So then, what are we to make of the bombshell from the Official Site? For those who can’t read it, we’ve put Ryan Jackson, Charles Ademeno, James Mulley, Lee Minshull and Max Porter on the transfer list.

Not on short Wellard-to-Cambridge type deals either, actually properly out of the club. Despite rumours linking Brett Johnson to the “out” list, none of these actually surprise me somehow. As is usual on this site, here’s a breakdown of why they’ve been culled:

Ryan Jackson: Somebody who seemed to be a victim of the club’s rise to the Football League. Had we been in the Conference this season, he would have been brought on a lot more – his performances at Fleetwood this season suggests that’s where he might end up.

Charles Ademeno: When you’re signed on an initial lowly paid contract to prove your fitness, and you start as many games as your editor has been to in the last two months, you ain’t going to be around for too long. Showed a bit of promise when he came on against Brizzle Rovers, but then so have many players…

James Mulley: Little bit surprised, but then we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. Seemed philosophical about his axing, although didn’t he uhm and ahh about joining us even after we got promoted?

Lee Minshull: I’ve always liked him. No, really. Like a few other players, somebody who was playing at a level above his ability, and one wonders if there’s a better version of him ready to sign on the dotted line? Right sort of player, wrong actual player…

Max Porter: Really didn’t work out for him, did it? Never really got going when he was brought in to play with Gregory, and failed to be the tough tackling midfielder. Given a choice between him and Sammy Moore, there was only ever going to be one winner.

So, what? First things first, it’s never nice to see players who helped get you promoted shunted out, but needs must. None of these really seemed at ease in the Football League, and it’s telling that people are talking about what Conference sides want them.

I suspect with a few replacements – and it looks like things may be happening on that score, finally – we’ll have forgotten most of them ever playing for us. They may have felt they haven’t been given a chance, but when they have had an opportunity they haven’t exactly set the place alight.

After the Wingate game, TB suggested that some of the fringe first teamers weren’t good enough. Here’s what SW19 wrote after the game:

Playing a team from the Ryman Premier – and Tuesday reaffirmed my gladness that we never have to do that again on a regular basis – is always difficult to judge. While our management were impressed with some they were clearly unimpressed by others.

Unfortunately, for those fringers, it’s one of the rare times they get to show what they’re worth, and if they don’t take it… Dare I suggest that some of the first team fringers on Tuesday aren’t going to be here next season? The line-up was Jack Turner, Ade Osifuwa, Fraser Franks, Mat Mitchel-King, Gareth Gwillim, Max Porter, Lee Minshull, James Mulley, Ryan Jackson, Brendan Kiernan and Louie Theopanous.

Spot a couple of names? When you read this, you become even less surprised at who’s been axed. Even though the whinging about how low our budget is gets on my tits, we can’t afford (in both senses) to carry passengers, and if we’ve got players who knock on the door asking for chances and they don’t take them, then the only people they’ve got to blame are themselves.

Some more questions pop up. Why no defenders? The rumour mill was suggesting Brett Johnston was amongst the cullees, but he’s still our player. Why is Jamie Stuart still with us? Or [insert player you don’t like or rate here]? Does TB even care about the defence?

As tempting as it is, we can’t get rid of 11 players midway during the season. I do wonder why we kept Jamie Stuart, although he’s the captain and is maybe seen as “a leader”, and might get a bit more help if he had a better midfield. He might not be too bad as a benchwarmer.

There may be more changes on the way anyway, if this kind of thing starts to happen. A loanee or two in addition to the signings we look likely to make is going to make the likes of Sam Hatton uncomfortable. Whether you think somebody like Connor McLaren is too young and/or inexperienced isn’t so much the issue, it’s the message being sent out to some senior players.

You start to wonder if people like Hatton are now on notice from now until the end of the season. Assuming we stay up, there’s likely to be big changes anyway, and it’s easier to get rid of another five in the close season.

That we’re being linked with C-Mac joining us permanently may be a sign that the long term rebuilding is starting already (which is why the likes of FF and Chris Bush are still here). With regards McNaughton, he does seem to divide opinion – some think he’s a lumbering donkey, while others think he reads the game well and is pretty solid and reliable.

Me, I’m in the latter category with him, and I’d like to see him line up alongside MMK. At least, until MMK injures himself by picking up the remote control that is. That might be enough to at least stabilise us at the back for the rest of the season, which right now is all we want to happen.

Well, that and win a few games on occasion.

Anyway, we still have no signings but there is a great deal of confidence that something is being done – putting five on the transfer list isn’t done lightly, and it now seems a major surprise if something doesn’t happen by Port Vale.

One final thing – the mood seems lifted now, probably because things have actually happened. Just imagine what it would be like if we actually sign a player…