The Darlington exodus continued yesterday when four more players were deemed surplus to requirements.

The official retained list is not announced until tomorrow, but of the remaining players out of contract, six have been told they have a future at the 96.6TFM Darlington Arena.

Captain Clark Keltie, Sam Russell, Kevin Burgess, David Stockdale, Neil Wainwright and Ricky Ravenhill will be offered new deals by manager Dave Penney.

And, while Mark McLeod has not received an offer, the young midfielder will remain with the club in pre-season to prove his worth.

The out-of-contract players are all expected to commit their futures to the club. However, Lee Jones, David Rowson and Gaetano Giallanza were informed yesterday that their contracts will not be renewed.

And, with Penney close to agreeing terms with two central defenders, Patrick Collins is the next player tipped to leave Darlington.

He was recalled to the line-up for the remaining six games of the season following David Wheater's return to Middlesbrough.

However, the defender is expected to be allowed to leave with a year still to run on his contract.

Penney has decided against extending Jones' stay at the club after the veteran goalkeeper missed the remaining three months of the season with a groin injury.

There were doubts over Russell's Darlington future, despite the Teessider returning to the first-team fray following Jones' injury.

But instead, the Quakers boss will keep faith with Russell, with Stockdale continuing as his goalkeeping understudy.

Rowson's departure is unexpected, as the midfielder has been a regular starter since returning from a loan spell at Boston in January.

He made close to 30 appearances this season, but less surprising is Giallanza's exit. The Swiss striker has struggled with injury since Penney took charge. Despite scoring in Penney's first game in charge at Tranmere in October, the former Norwich City striker has missed the majority of the season through injury.

And, despite returning to first-team action for the remaining three games of the season, the 32-year-old has not had enough time to warrant a new deal.

As anticipated, Penney has pulled few punches as he aims to rebuild a squad capable of mounting a sustainable promotion push next season.

The Quakers boss has wasted little time in culling his squad, having released seven players last week. Alun Armstrong, Simon Johnson, Carlos Logan, Kalu Ngoma, Darren Holloway, Brian Close and Craig James have all been told to find new clubs.

James is currently on loan at York City, and the Minstermen are keen to offer the Middlesbrough-born full-back a permanent contract.

Penney has made no secret in his opinion that the squad he inherited, when succeeding David Hodgson as Darlington manager in October, was not good enough to make a serious promotion challenge.

And now, after slashing the size of his squad, the former Doncaster Rovers boss will set about the task of bringing in a host of new signings during the summer.

Only seven players - Tim Ryan, Patrick Collins, Micky Cummins, Martin Smith, Gregg Blundell, Tommy Wright and Julian Joachim - are under contract.

Evan Horwood and Scott Wiseman have returned to Sheffield United and Hull City respectively after loan spells, and Penney is unlikely to follow up his interest in the pair.

However, Penney will not yet rule out the possibility of bringing Rory Prendergast and Mark Phillips back to the club.

Phillips is out of contract at Millwall while Prendergast's Rochdale future remains in doubt, and Penney will continue to monitor the winger's situation at Spotland.