Mass exodus from Oxford
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manager Jim Smith has begun the process of rebuilding Oxford United.
Manager Jim Smith has begun the process of rebuilding Oxford United by releasing eight players from the club.
The 65-year-old manager has decided to let goalkeeper Bradie Clarke, defenders Jon Ashton, Leo Roget and Matt Robinson, midfielders Mark E'Beyer and Stuart Grey and striker Jamie Brooks' contracts expire.
On-loan defender Warren Goodhind will also return to his club Rochdale, following Oxford's recent relegation from The Football League.
And Smith believes the mass exodus is necessary to revitalise the club for next season's push for promotion in The Conference.
"The squad has to be broken up. I think we've shown we're not good enough," he told the Oxford Mail.
"Hopefully I can bring in League players because we'll need good players to take us back up.
"The hard work starts now, and over the next few weeks there's a lot of work to be done," he said.
Smith may have home-grown talent in his sights for next season, as chairman Nick Merry has committed his full support to United's youth development and community programmes, despite relegation.