Grimsby Town manager Marcus Bignot has begun to ring the changes at Blundell Park by telling six players they are free to leave the League Two club, including a trio of the Mariners’ Wembley heroes from last season, reports the Grimsby Telegraph.
Goalkeeper James McKeown, defender Josh Gowling and midfielders Sean McAllister, Craig Disley, Luke Summerfield and Ashley Chambers have all been told they are available for loan or transfer by the former Solihull Moors’ boss.
It is believed that Bignot would prefer loan deals for McKeown and McAllister with the other quartet of players free to leave North-East Lincolnshire.
He said: “It’s our desire to hold onto James (McKeown) and have him compete with Dean (Henderson) for the number one spot.
“One club has shown interest but they weren’t prepared to agree a loan deal, which is our preference, or pay a fee for the player.
“Sean’s name has been circulated for loan to give him the opportunity to get some game-time under his belt following his spell on the sidelines with a groin injury.”
He continued: “I’ve said to Dis that if there is an opportunity and you want that opportunity, then you can take it, but at the minute Dis is happy here and we are very happy to have him here.
“I know Dis and know how he feels about this club and he knows this club feels about him and that’s what’s important.
“With all the lads, I’ve tried to be fair, upfront and honest, because that’s how I always wanted to be treated as a player.”
“For Josh (Gowling) and Ashley (Chambers), they are in the final year of their respective deals and we cannot guarantee them any involvement beyond this season.
“So it makes sense to make them available now, rather than wait until the end of their deals, so they don’t have to join the rat race and earn a contract somewhere else during the summer.”
The Telegraph state that the decision to allow Summerfield to leave Blundell Park just six months into his Cleethorpes career is a mutual one between player, management and the club’s Board.
Fans have taken to message boards and social media to express their surprise at the decision, with it being just over eight months since McKeown, Gowling and Disley were an integral part of the side that won the Mariners’ promotion to the Football League with a dramatic Wembley win over Forest Green Rovers.
Former York duo Chambers and Summerfield were also regular members of the Mariners’ starting XI up until a few weeks ago but Bignot has begun to stamp his authority on the Town squad with six new arrivals so far this month, in the shape of defender Gavin Gunning, midfielders Chris Clement, Jamey Osborne and Luke Maxwell and strikers Akwasi Asante and Adi Yussuf, as well as extending the stays of Danny Collins, Brandon Comley and Dean Henderson at Blundell Park.