Three out at Bayview but Jason returns
There wasn't much that left a sour taste in Gary Naysmith's mouth across the 2015/16 title winning season.
But the Bayview gaffer concedes that letting go three of his hardest working players at the conclusion of the campaign was a bitter pill to swallow.
All managers, regardless of experience, agree that sitting down with players and telling them their services are no longer required is one of the most difficult parts of the game.
Naysmith had to do just that recently when deciding to free Fraser Mullen, Craig Murray and Declan O’Kane.
The gaffer said: “Fraser was one of the most skilful players we had at the club but had a lot of difficulty getting into the side because of the form of Pat Slattery and Stevie Campbell.
“Craig Murray was a lad who had played with Aberdeen and I’m really disappointed it didn’t work out with him.
“Again, because of the form of guys like Ross Brown he just couldn’t get in the side.
“The attitudes of the three players was absolutely first class over the season - even when they knew they wouldn’t be playing on a Saturday.
“They were still training hard - I don’t think Declan O’Kane or Fraser missed a session.”
All three are now free to find other clubs, but one player who will be returning to Bayview for the start of the season is Jason Kerr.
“I’m delighted to have Jason back because he formed a really good partnership in central defence with Jonathan Page,” said the gaffer.
“We’ve also signed up Ryan Goodfellow again.
“He was disappointed to lose his place when Liam Kelly came in but again, has shown a great attitude by working away in the gym and bulking up.
“He’s still only 22-years-old and is very, very young for a goalkeeper yet.”
The manager has also handed a contract to striker Paul McManus.
Kyle Wilkie’s future at the club remains unclear, with Naysmith hoping the midfielder will remain at Bayview if choosing to stay part-time.