Terry Brown explains his Wimbledon spring clean
Terry Brown gave his AFC Wimbledon squad a spring clean on Tuesday by wielding the axe on nine more Dons careers.
Jamie Stuart, Brett Johnson, Chris Bush, Gareth Gwillim, Keiran Djilali, Jack Turner, Ricky Wellard, Fraser Franks and Reece Jones were all released to add to James Mulley, Lee Minshull, Max Porter and Ryan Jackson, who were told in January they would not be kept beyond the season's end.
It leaves only six members of last year's promotion-winning squad with the Dons but Brown felt it had to be done after seeing his team finish 16th in League Two following Saturday's 3-1 win over promoted Shrewsbury Town.
"It was more than I would have wanted to release," he said.
"I would like to have kept more if I could have but sometimes you need to spring clean and that's what we have done.
"It is always very difficult, especially when the players have been with you a while.
"Those boys have really put in a shift and it has been a pleasure to work with them.
"They have helped get this club up and they should take a lot pride out of that - no one will ever do that for AFC Wimbledon again, hopefully.
"Some of them have had good years and as a manager you always have to try and do what Sir Alex does and look to the future.
"We took a big look at where we are defensively and I felt we needed to make those changes in the whole back four."
The sweeping changes leaves the Dons with just 12 senior players if Seb Brown, Sam Hatton, Jack Midson, Luke Moore, Christian Jolley, Sammy Moore, Mat Mitchel-King and Rashid Yussuff all agree new contracts.
But Brown insisted releasing so many players was not a risky strategy.
"When you first start out in this game you want to cover every base as soon as you can," he added.
"But, over the years, I have missed out on some fantastic players who are playing at a much higher level now because I filled my spaces too early and was not patient.
"There will be players now who think they are going to get a quality League Two club but when they don't we need to leave a space or two in our squad for them.
"My aim is to get the spine of the team sorted as soon as possible.
"I am keeping Mat Mitchel-King as a centre half and Jack Midson and Sammy Moore are still contracted to us and have another year, we are just talking to them about improved deals.
"I want to get another centre half, midfielder and striker sorted so the spine is done."
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