CLUB captain Billy Paynter is the biggest casualty of Hartlepool United’s relegation from the Football League.

After missing the latter part of the season following Achilles’ surgery, the striker’s contract has not been renewed.

He is one of nine players released, but the core of this season’s squad remain, with the majority of those looking for new clubs fringe players.

Loading article content

New deals have been offered to Carl Magnay, Brad Walker and Rhys Oates, while Devante Rodney’s contract has been extended.

Released are Ben Dudzinski, Keiran Green, Rob Jones, James Martin, Jake Orrell, Ben Pollock, Jordan Richards and Connor Smith.

Paynter had been told by former boss Dave Jones his contract wasn’t being renewed, but he returned to the fray for the last two games after being appointed as part of the caretaker management team.

Without a manager, the club's retained list has been compiled by the club's head of recruitment Paul Watson. The search for a new boss is likely to continue into next week.