MANAGER Darren Ferguson has begun Doncaster Rovers’ preparations for League One by transfer-listing several players and shelving plans to sign midfielder Conor Grant permanently.
Rovers were promoted from League Two with a month of the season to spare, but four straight defeats meant the title went to Portsmouth as the Yorkshire club slipped to third.
Ferguson, clearly determined to shake things up at the Keepmoat Stadium, has released Paul Keegan, Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Joe Pugh and Joey McCormick.
Also made available for transfer are Andy Williams, top scorer in 2015-16 with 16 goals, Harry Middleton, Ross Etheridge, Cedric Evina and Mitchell Lund.
Grant, who had been tipped to join on a permanent basis from Everton this summer, has returned to Goodison Park with Doncaster electing not to pursue the midfielder despite him being a near permanent fixture in the side since joining last January.
Joining Doncaster in League One next season are relegated Rotherham United.
Manager Paul Warne is expected to formalise his own plans for 2017-18 in the coming days, but Jonson Clarke-Harris has already penned a new one-year extension with the club.
“He has had an unfortunate season and he has been out all year with his knee,” said Warne about the 22-year-old. “I spoke to him and told him what I expected from him on and off the training ground and the pitch.
“The ball is in his court because a fit Clarke-Harris is a handful against anyone. I think he has done well in a couple of games.
“But I think he has a lot more to give and I think he will give a lot more because if he buys into what we are doing in the summer, he will have to.”
Warne has also made offers to several out of contract players at the New York Stadium. Loan players Semi Ajayi and Alex Bray will both become permanent additions this summer, while Richard O’Donnell and Ben Purrington were both secured during the January transfer window.
Hull City defender Brian Lenihan has signed a new one-year deal.
The Tigers have the option of a further year on the 22-year-old right-back, who has been dogged by injury since joining from Cork City in 2014.