Chris Hargreaves’ summer overhaul at relegated Torquay United is up and running with the news that six under-contract players have been placed on the transfer list, including the 2013 player of the year Aaron Downes and young winger Jordan Chapell, whose five goals made him the Gulls’ top scorer in 2013-14.
Hargreaves has listed Australian centre-back Downes, young Welsh midfielder Nathan Craig and four players who all arrived at Plainmoor this season – Chapell, right-back Dale Tonge, striker Karl Hawley and defender Shaun Cooper.
Chapell, Tonge and Hawley were all signed by Alan Knill, who was sacked as United’s boss in January. Cooper, signed by Hargreaves from Portsmouth in the New Year, has never made an appearance because of injury problems.
Hargreaves has also been speaking to players whose current contracts run out this summer, and decisions on those men are expected to be announced in the next 24 hours.
But, of the freed six, Hargreaves said: “Those lads are not part of my plans, and I don’t want to stand in the way of them finding new clubs. So the easiest way to test the water is by putting them on the list.
“If no other clubs come in for them and they start back here for pre-season, then no problem,” he added. “But there have to be changes – we have been relegated and there are reasons behind that.
“We need to sort it out, clear up the wage-bill and bring in new players.
“There are some good players on the list, and there are times when it just doesn’t work out for a player at a certain club. I expect them to attract interest.
“There are others who we have spoken to and some we still have to make a final decision on.”
Four other senior players are also under contract for next season – Krystian Pearce, Ben Harding, Courtney Cameron and Elliot Benyon – as well as 18-year-old defender Jake Hutchings.
Downes made 35 appearances for the Gulls this campaign and scored four goals. That came off the back of a superb 2012-13 campaign in which the 28-year-old former Chesterfield and Bristol Rovers stopper scored five times in 41 outings.
Chapell has appeared in 39 matches this campaign, his first at Plainmoor since arriving on a free transfer from Sheffield United, while Craig has played a bit-part role this campaign with only 14 appearances.
Tonge, who turns 29 on Wednesday, has been a regular this campaign with 39 appearances since arriving from Rotherham United, while Hawley’s season ended prematurely when he broke his arm in the 1-0 home defeat to Scunthorpe United at the beginning of April. He has scored twice in 30 appearances.
Meanwhile, Torquay have announced another pre-season friendly, against League One side Walsall on Saturday, July 19 (3pm), three days before they take on Plymouth Argyle at Plainmoor (July 22, 7.45pm).