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Please release me

Let me go…

Whenever the player released updates come up, it’s always treated with a bit of “what if?” along with a “I wonder if they’ll get another club?”.

And in so many cases in recent years, there’s usually “good riddance you fucking useless twat” with it.

This past Monday, about 48 hours after stuffing Walsall, the club put its own released list up.

Most of it isn’t a surprise, although there’s one or two bits of interest…

Paul Kalambayi

Had that run a year or two ago where he was part of the defence where he looked to make it his own.

And then…. well, he disappeared.

I don’t know whether injury or something else scuppered his time here, although once Lewis, Johnson and latterly Balmer arrived he was at least fourth in the pecking order.

Probably most memorable for a chant to the Backstreet Boys’ “Backstreet’s Back” at Portman Road, although whenever he takes the train he now makes sure he keeps his hands out of his pockets.

Nik Tzanev

The Bulgarian Kiwi was one of those Mark Robinson era players who was supposed to be our mainstay for the next few years, but like that whole revolution collapsed when it met reality.

Once we signed Alex Bass and he became the #2 for the whole season (bar the odd ex-JPT game and the last two regular season fixtures) it seemed to mark his card.

Rumours that he was one of the ones allegedly playing up towards the end of JJ’s first season didn’t help, if indeed they were true.

His high point was Northampton at PL in the Covid season, where his penalty save kept us in League One for one more season.

For a keeper, he’s still quite young, and you can see him returning to Sutton in the National League. Though he might need to practice his kicking some more.

Harry Pell

Made his 500th appearance against Walsall, and was a good way to end a second tenure at AFCW.

Came back to us citing “unfinished business”, and started putting us down the road of the sorely-lacking Dark Arts (TM).

Like others who were signed around the same time as he was, the Craig Cope era seemed to put him lower down the order, and to be honest once he was sussed out he never really played more than a bit part.

His biggest achievement didn’t happen during a game but at half time in a certain fixture last season. Which he never had to pay…

Alex Pearce

Another of the pre-Cope signings, who like PK above was pushed way down the pecking order when Lewis and co arrived.

One of those fuck-me-I’ve-heard-of-him signings when we announced his signature, although it was clear towards the end of the first season that his legs were going.

A definite bit part player towards the end, and one wonders if he might announce his retirement before long.

Zach Robinson

So many people wanted him to play much more of a role with us, although I could never quite see why.

Like so many others on this released list, there are now others way ahead of him in the pecking order, so it’s very likely he’ll be in a Dundee shirt full time from now on.

Quane Bartley / Marcel Campbell / Josh Hallard / Ben Mason

All young lads who you expect to see knocking around National League South before long.

There’s some goodbye messages here, although one released player is notably absent.

All the loanees have returned back, which isn’t a surprise, although like Armani Little last season you never quite know if any of them become our first “proper” signings this summer.

Balmer did well when Lewis and Johnson got crocked, and his long throws remain a thing of beauty.

Gordon was a typical Premier League Academy product really, and while I don’t doubt he tried hard I’m not sure if they’re worth bothering with from now on.

I’d like to see us try for both Alex Bass and John-Joe O’Toole as full time squad members, if the finances work out and they’re willing to join up again.

Indeed, it’s interesting to note who we’ve offered new deals to. The one that stands out most is Lee Brown.

Now, up until very recently he would have been one of the first on the out list, but whether it’s managed to “click” with him two-and-a-half years since he got here I don’t know.

Some of that could be down to his apparent bromance with Ronan “Franchise Slayer” Curtis, who we are cryptically in “Discussions ongoing”.

That could mean anything, and some has said he’s already said his goodbye on social media, although I wonder if he’s been promised the chance to get a L1 side and we’re his fallback if it doesn’t materialise?

Little being offered a new deal is something we’ve known about for a while, and maybe he’ll actually sign it. Sutcliffe and Biler are also wanted, and I can’t think either will be that expensive.

And that’s really about it. For now, anyway.

We’ve taken our option on Jack Currie, so when he inevitably gets sold in the summer we get a decent wedge for him.

Obviously, contracts mean something so there’s some on the contracted list that we’d like to be moved on.

Indeed, the SLP reckon that Manbun might be moving on, and we’ll be getting in two additional strikers.

I can imagine Davison going on loan somewhere, or if Bromley win against Solihull maybe he’ll be their first experienced League signing?

What it does suggest is that we’ve been planning transfers out (and in) since February at least.

Davison works hard but has gone off the boil big time, and I doubt that’s gone un-noticed.

There may well be others off as well, but the ones you want to keep most of all are still here.

And it’s good that the likes of Lewis, Johnson, Bugiel, Kelly and Reeves will be turning up to our training ground the first day of pre-season.

I guess all we’ve got to do now is wait and see what happens. It’s that odd time of the year when the season’s ended but you haven’t quite got into the close-season mindset yet.

That will come though. Hell, we haven’t even found out when we’re playing Sutton and the Met Police in pre-season friendlies yet…

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