'Football has a natural cycle:' Blackpool boss' verdict as Seasiders end Bloomfield Road careers of 11 players

Blackpool published their retained this on Tuesday, paving the way for a squad overhaul at Blomfoeld Road

Neil Critchley has predicted an exciting summer for Blackpool as he thanked the departing first team players for their service to the club. It has been confirmed that Matty Virtue, Marvin Ekpiteta, Callum Connolly and Shayne Lavery will all leave Bloomfield Road when their current deals expire next month, alongside a number of youngsters from the Seasiders’ development squad.

Critchley had already hinted there would be a refresh following the club’s failed attempt to reach the League One play-offs, as they look to rebuild for next season.

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“I would like to thank all of those who are leaving us this summer for their contributions during their time at Blackpool,” he said.

Football has a natural cycle, and a number of those leaving the club this summer were players that I inherited or brought to the club during my time here. In particular, Matty Virtue, Marvin Ekpiteta, Callum Connolly and Shayne Lavery have played key roles at Bloomfield Road over the past few years, and I’d like to thank them for all of their hard-work and commitment to the club. I’d also like to thank the loan players for their efforts during their time with us this season.

“We now have an opportunity to refresh the squad and I look forward to an exciting summer at Bloomfield Road as we continue our preparations for the 2024/25 season.”

Here’s the full details following the release of Blackpool’s retained list:

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Remaining under contract: Rob Apter, Jake Beesley, Oliver Casey, Kwaku Donkor, Zak Emmerson, Ryan Finnigan, Jordan Gabriel, Dan Grimshaw, CJ Hamilton, Jaden Jones, Kyle Joseph, Kylian Kouassi, Alex Lankshear, Andy Lyons, Josh Miles, Owen Moffat, Albie Morgan, Oliver Norburn, Johnson Opawole, Matt Pennington, Dan Sassi, Dom Thompson

Contract options exercised on: Harvey Bardsley, Sonny Carey, Jake Daniels, Jack Moore, Richard O'Donnell

In contract discussions with: James Husband

Players leaving the club: Mackenzie Chapman, Callum Connolly, Marvin Ekpiteta, Dannen Francis, Brad Holmes, Shayne Lavery, Donovan Lescott, Luke Mariette, Will Squires, Tayt Trusty, Matty Virtue

Loan players returning to parent clubs: George Byers (Sheffield Wednesday), Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough), Karamoko Dembele (Stade Brestois), Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town)

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