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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Smith starts Wrexham clear-out
Craig Faulconbridge
Craig Faulconbridge is on his way out of the Racecourse
Wrexham manager Denis Smith said the severe financial cut-backs at the club left him with no other option than to release eight first-team players.

The axe has fallen on Michael Blackwood, Martyn Chalk, Robin Gibson, Craig Faulconbridge, Kevin Sharp, David Walsh, Dave Warren and Gareth Williams.

Striker Faulconbridge had turned down the offer of a new contract earlier in the season.

Stockport County are thought to be one of a handful of clubs hoping to secure his signature for next season.

New contracts will be offered to Paul Barrett, Dan Bennett, Lee Jones, Andy Morrell, Wayne Phillips, Steve Roberts, Kristian Rogers, Steve Thomas and Jim Whitley.

"Because of the cash problems here, we are looking at a squad of 18 or 19 players and seven of those already have contracts for next season," Smith told the Wrexham website.

"I will also be looking to bring in new faces, so decisions had to be made.

"It's not pleasant having to make judgements on people, when it's their livelihoods on the line, but it is part of the job and someone has to do it."

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