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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 12:50 GMT
Clyde axe eight players
Clyde have axed most of their Under-19 squad following the departure of player-coach Andy Millen to St Mirren.

The First Division leaders have also said that they cannot afford to extend Chris McGroarty's loan spell from Dunfermline Athletic.

Eight players have been told that they will not be offered new deals: goalkeeper Charlie Clark, defenders Robert Halliday, Chris Sloman and Mark McIlroy, midfielders Sean Maguire, Billy Reid and John Baird, plus striker Chris Zok.

But Clyde player-boss Alan Kernaghan insists that the purge of their youth side is not down to financial pressures.

"Some are being released for football reasons and others for their general attitude, which aren't what I feel is appropriate for a professional footballer," he said.

Defender Graeme McCracken and midfielder David Greenhill are the only out-of-contract players to be offered new deals.

The eight players not being offered new deals at the end of the season have been told that they can leave Broadwood Stadium earlier if they can find new clubs during the January transfer window.

Reid is the son of Clyde assistant manager Billy.

"Although young Billy was in and about the first team towards the end of last season, it is more of a case that he needs another challenge," said Kernaghan.

"He has all the skills in the world but needs someone else to speak to him.

"It was difficult with his dad coaching him as well, so he needs to hear another voice."

Three players will take the step up from the under-16s next season: Alastair Martin, Craig Bryson and Kevin Bradley.

It therefore appears that Clyde will maintain an Under-19 side next season, despite the departure of Millen.

The veteran midfielder moved to St Mirren Park at the weekend as assistant to former Dunfermline and Kilmarnock defender Gus MacPherson.

Millen initially agreed an 18-month contract with the Buddies.

However, speculation that Kernaghan topped Partick Thistle's shortlist for a new manager proved unfounded when the Glasgow club confirmed player-coaches Gerry Britton and Derek Whyte in post.

Meanwhile, McGroarty returns to Dunfermline with his future uncertain despite making an impression during his 12 appearances for the Bully Wee since August.

He is unlikely to be back in the Scottish Premier League side's first-team plans and manager Jimmy Calderwood believes that, like Clyde, few First Division sides could afford to take him on loan before his contract runs out in the summer.

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