Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has given some of his thinking behind the release of three key members of his first team squad over the last few years. All three were players signed up by previous managers, with goalkeeper Artur Krysiak being signed by Gary Johnson, whilst Nathan Smith and Ryan Dickson were brought in by Paul Sturrock during the summer of 2015, having had earlier spells with the club.
That leaves Omar Sowunmi as the club's longest serving player, although there's no certainty that he will be on the club's books by the start of the 2018-19 season, given he is out of contract and entitled to sign for another club. With striker Francois Zoko the only player that pre-dates Way's appointment as manager to be definitely committed to the 2018-19 season, today has definitely been a changing of the old guard. Way told BBC Somerset that he wanted leaders with a winning mentality to come to the club over the summer:
"It's never easy to release players, certainly with the level of service that they've given. But I think that it's important that we try our best to build a winning team for next year. What I've got to concentrate on now, is that I make sure I bring in bigger and better leaders to help us gain a winning mentality, more often than not, at the football club."
Way has also suggested to the Western Gazette that part of his thinking was that the three players had found an extended 59 game season to be very tiring, implying that they had not lasted the distance. He also said the players' wages was a factor:
"All three players are high earners, and with the young team that we've got, their effort has to be maximal. They have to be above the standard and I feel that with 59 games this year, it's hard to do that when you're the three experienced players that are trying to lead the dressing room on every minute of every day and it's been very tiring for some of them. I want to be a part of winning, and that's what I want; I need more winners with a winning mentality and sometimes you can lose that over a period of time."
Over the course of the season, in terms of the number of minutes on the field of play, Krysiak, Dickson and Smith were in a list of seven players who played in excess of 3,500 minutes - significantly higher than all other first team squad members. Tom James and Omar Sowunmi headed up that list, with Krysiak in third place with the top trio being on the pitch for over 4,000 minutes. Dickson and Smith were in a quartet of players, along with Otis Khan and Francois Zoko that were on the pitch for over 3,500 minutes. All other loan and contracted players were used for under 3,000 minutes, with ten players being used for under 1,000 minutes.
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