Duo leaving Leeds
Leeds have confirmed that defender Richard Naylor and keeper Shane Higgs will be leaving this summer.
Last Updated: 09/05/11 5:19pm
Leeds United have confirmed that defender Richard Naylor and back-up goalkeeper Shane Higgs will be leaving this summer.
Both are out of contract and, as the club cannot guarantee the players regular football at Elland Road, they have been released.
Naylor made a huge impact in Leeds' defence having initially joined from Ipswich Town on loan while the club were in League One.
The 34-year-old, who skippered Leeds to promotion last term, made 76 appearances for the Whites and 15 of those came in the Championship.
Leeds just missed out on the play-offs and, with another season of second-tier football on the cards, manager Simon Grayson is now looking to the future.
"I'd like to thank Richard for everything he has done during his two-and-a-half years with us," he told the club's official website.
"He's been a great captain for the club, both on and off the field and I can't speak highly enough of him and what he has done.
"There was no one prouder than Richard last May when we won promotion back to the Championship and he has played a big, big role in the turnaround of this football club.
"Unfortunately, we're not in a position where I can offer Richard regular football now and allowing him to move on will give him the best possible opportunity elsewhere.
"I think I speak on behalf of everyone connected with the club - the staff, the players, and the fans - when I wish him all the best for the future."
Also leaving Leeds with Naylor is veteran keeper Higgs, who joined on a free transfer from Cheltenham Town in 2009.
Higgs was signed a cover for Casper Ankergren and he made 29 appearances during his two years with the West Yorkshire club.
"He did well for us last season and has provided good competition for us this season," Grayson continued. "Shane is at an age where he needs to be playing regularly and we can't offer him regular football."