SWINDON Town head coach Luke Williams is welcoming a summer of change on the playing front ahead of their assault on League Two.
With Jamie Sendles-White, Bradley Barry, Jordan Stewart and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill released on Tuesday evening, having not had the options of a further year at the County Ground taken up by the club, there are still eight players who are waiting to have their futures decided.
Skipper Nathan Thompson, Jonathan Obika and Yaser Kasim are among those out of contract this summer, and while Williams understands that replacing such talent will be an arduous task, he believes it is better to have a fresh start with new players than trying to motivate a demoralised squad.
“I think that after a season we have had, we would welcome big change,” said the Town coach, whose own future at the club has yet to be addressed, with a meeting expected with chairman Lee Power by the end of play tomorrow.
“If many players were under contract and had underachieved drastically, then perhaps we’re thinking that this is going to be difficult to move players on and how are we going to get around people who are on long-term contracts and, potentially, not going to be motivated to play.
“These could be even bigger problems.
“Often clubs have seriously under-achieved and been relegated and had many players under long-term contracts and they often perform even worse because they were a Championship player and now they are (in) League One, they struggle to get their head around it.
“They were a League One player and now they are League Two, they’ve got another two years left on their contract and they can’t find the motivation.
“We can look at the positive and say that, with so many free slots and so many shirt numbers to fill, we can start fresh and we can potentially bring people in who are going to be very driven to play for the club (and) are going to relish the opportunity to play in League Two, which is a tough, tough league – the physicality of the league and the pitches.
“This is a clean slate, a chance to build an appropriate squad for the appropriate level of football that are going to be driven and want to get promoted.”
With Ellis Iandolo being tied down to an extra year at the club, Swindon have a base of 10 contracted players to build on, with the addition of academy products, Tom Ouldridge, Jordan Simpson and Scott Twine, whose deals are yet to be confirmed by the club.