Walsall: Jon Whitney releases seven players from League One club

Neil Etheridge
Philippines international Neil Etheridge is just six short of a century of appearances for Walsall since signing from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2015

Walsall boss Jon Whitney has released seven players from the League One club.

But offers have been made to four out-of-contract players, most notably first-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who has been offered a three-year deal.

Fellow keeper Liam Roberts is offered a one-year deal, with a one-year option.

But defender Theo Vassell, who was on a season's loan at Chester with Roberts, second-choice keeper Craig MacGillivray and midfielders Isaiah Osbourne and Franck Moussa leave on free transfers.

Bradley Caswell, Lezion Cela and Ashley Maddocks have also been released.

Defender Matt Preston has been offered a two-year deal and midfielder Rory Oliver an extended six-month contract as he continues his rehabilitation from injury.

The club are still negotiating with teenage Bermudian midfielder Milan Butterfield, who joined the club last summer.

Contracts have also been offered to scholars Tobias Hayles-Docherty - who made his debut in the penultimate game of the season against Port Vale - Cameron Peters, Will Shorrock and Sam Tonks, while Callum Cockerill-Mollett and Dan Vann were already contracted going into next season.

After losing in the League One play-off semi-finals the previous season, Walsall finished 14th in 2016-17, falling out of play-off contention with a run of just one win in their last 10 games.

Meanwhile, former Walsall defender Mark Bradley has been appointed as the club's new strength and conditioning coach.

Whitney on his Walsall goalkeepers

"Neil Etheridge has been excellent for us," said Whitney. "We offered him a contract extension earlier this season.

"And, whilst we understand he is assessing his options, we have made him a further contract offer.

"Although Craig gave a good account of himself in the final five games, I had to be honest with him and tell him that I didn't see him as my number one.

"At this stage of his career, he needs to be playing regularly. We couldn't guarantee him that.

"Liam has enjoyed a prosperous loan spell at Chester and we hope to continue developing him as a goalkeeper."

Top Stories