A DAY after David Hodgson axed a third of his squad, the Darlington manager was this morning waking up to his latest dilemma with Craig Hignett revealing his intention to play on for another season.

While Bobby Petta and Curtis Fleming were among those informed that their contracts would not be renewed, Hodgson last night revealed his surprise at Hignett's decision to put his retirement plans on hold.

The Quakers' boss was expecting Hignett to pursue a career in the media later this year and did not have a contract proposal lined up for the former Middlesbrough striker.

Now Hodgson must decide over the coming days whether or not to offer the 35-year-old an extended deal.

"Craig's decision completely caught me out and has really thrown a spanner in the works," said Hodgson. "Over the next two or three days I have to think about what we offer him and what we will actually get out of him."

Hignett joined Quakers in September but injury restricted the forward to just 17 starts, in which he scored an impressive nine goals.

As well as Petta and Fleming, Adolfo Gregorio, Chris Hughes, Craig Russell, Ian Clark, Keith Gilroy, Mark Convery, Michael Coghlan and Michael Price were yesterday deemed surplus to requirements.

Defender Matt Clarke has rejected a one-year deal, while Hodgson will hold talks with Alun Armstrong tomorrow to discuss his future.

Clarke has been a revelation for Quakers this season, captaining the side in the latter stages of their play-off campaign. And, while Armstrong has been largely disappointing, scoring once in his last 15 games, Hodgson is prepared to offer the 30-year-old an extension on the right terms.

Joey Hutchinson and Sam Russell are mulling over new one-year deals, which they are expected to sign next week.

Huddersfield striker Akpo Sodje has agreed a one-year deal with the club, while New Zealand midfielder Adrian Webster and Jason St Juste have been rewarded with deals until the end of next season.

Hodgson has indicated that Fleming could return to the club later in the summer, despite releasing the former Republic of Ireland international.

"Curtis is a fantastic professional and his attitude has been second to none while he has been with us," said Hodgson. "At the moment Curtis has not been given another contract but, depending on what happens during the summer, that could change."

However, Hodgson didn't feel the performances of Petta warranted an extended deal. The former Ipswich winger has failed to live up to expectations since joining Quakers on a free transfer in February. Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City are both keen on the Dutchman.

Despite making 28 appearances this season, Clark has been told he can leave after three-and-a-half years at the club. York City are reportedly interested in Clark and Hughes.

Gregorio has returned to his native America, where he will have trials in the Major Soccer League.

Skipper Craig Liddle will announce his retirement in the next few days.