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Exeter City release eight players

Happy times at St James Park as promotion is confirmed

Refresh begins ahead of promotion

Two days after being feted on an open top bus through the city centre, eight Exeter City players are leaving the club.

Manager Matt Taylor has made his annual post-season announcement about which players will be released in the summer.

Nigel Atangana, Colin Daniel, Callum Rowe, Jordan Dyer, Ben Seymour, James Dodd, Jack Veale and Ellis Johnson will all leave the club upon expiry of contract and Matt has individually thanked each player for their contribution to the football club, wishing them the very best for their future careers.

He said: "It's a strange time and a manager at the moment, and sadly that involves releasing players."

Writing on the club's website, Mr Taylor outlined the varying reasons for saying goodbye to some player.

He said: 'Nigel Atangana had a serious injury when we signed him and we had to be patient. Since his first season it has been a battle to get him on the pitch consistently. He has been an outstanding person to have around the club, but we just haven't seen enough value on the pitch. It's unfortunate but also a sign of the performances of those players ahead of him.

"Callum Rowe - similarly to Nigel - we have to look at who is already under contract and keep pathways clear. Callum had a difficult start to his career here. We signed him orginally as a left back but it became quickly apparent he was preferred centrally. In relation to the level that we are going to, it felt like the right decision to release Callum. 

"We signed Colin Daniel as we felt we needed a presence on that side of the pitch. He had some good performances in his time, but not consistently enough and it felt right that we sent him out on loan for some game time. With Jack Sparkes and Jake Caprice contracted, we thought it was the right thing to do to release Colin.

"For the younger players, it is about giving players the opportunity to progress in their career. Ben Seymour and Jordan Dyer have both had first team opportunities both with ourselves and Yeovil. We always feel we have to do the right thing for the players as well as the football club. We have so many plaudits with our young players and what we have produced, but sadly it can sometimes go the other way when these players give their maximum and it sometimes isn't enough."

Cameron Dawson, Padraig Amond, Kieran Phillips and Offrande Zanzala all return to their parent clubs having a huge influence on City's successes this season, and we place on record out gratitude for all their contributions.

"What else is there to say about Cameron Dawson?" Matt said.

"Just look at the fans reaction to him throughout the season. He became available late in pre-season and we moved towards it quickly. For us to get him to the club was huge for us and what a fantastic contribution he has made and for me he is the goalkeeper in the league and he probably deserved more recognition, We really hope he finds game time back at Sheffield Wednesday - he is too good a keeper to be sat on the sidelines.

"Part of the reason we brought Podge in was the experience. There is no-one better in and around that 18-yard box. He scored such an important goal at Carlisle. What a fantastic person to have around the football club and his enthusiasm and his energy around the training ground on a daily basis is admirable. I'd love to have worked with him when he was younger. I'm so pleased he finally got that promotion he's always been so close with.

"Kieran Phillips scored two very different goals for us - one classy finish and one big deflection. We knew what we were getting with him, and it was his physicality that we needed at times. He's a player with a big future and he's someone we feel can play at the top level. He was working towards a starting place competing against some strong players. 

"We saw Zanzala in the home fixture against Scunthorpe and we were so excited, and then within 15 minutes of the home fixture against Walsall he picked up the injury. It wasn't an ideal start, but he put himself forward time and time again and was a real menace. He contributed with a couple of goals and we are so gratful for what Oz did for us. He's probably been underestimated, but he's been a real disruption to opposition back lines."

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