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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Crewe release nine
Former England international Geoff Thomas
Thomas may have to retire through injury
Crewe Alexandra have released nine players following their relegation to Division Two.

Shaun Smith, Colin Little, Phil Charnock, Paul Tait, Kevin Street, Phil Trainer, John Grant, Steve Macauley and Geoff Thomas will all leave Gresty Road this summer.

Manager Dario Gradi has decided to release the players as he plans for the future.

Tait, who joined the club on a free transfer from Northwich Victoria, has made only 10 appearances this season and has found it difficult to reproduce his goalscoring form of the 1999-2000 season.

Street's first-team appearances have been limited in the last two seasons and he was loaned out to Luton Town this season.

Academy star Grant has not been able to fulfil his potential at first-team level. He has only played seven times but has failed to score.

Trainer has never played first-team football for the club and is currently on loan at Conference side Stalybridge Celtic.

Former England international Thomas could be forced to retire from the game after struggling to recover from a troublesome knee injury.

Smith, Little and Charnock were also told they did not feature in Gradi's first-team plans.

But young centre-back Richard Walker has signed a new two-year deal at the club.

The 20-year-old, a product of Crewe's impressive academy set-up, has caught the eye in his rare first-team outings over the past two seasons.

With Macauley being released, Walker will be one of four centre-backs jostling for a first-team berth.

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