HARTLEPOOL United have released ten players as Mick Wadsworth starts his preparations for next season.

Denis Behan, Armann Bjornsson, Joe Gamble, Leon McSweeney and Fabio Yantoro have all been released while fringe players Billy Blackford, Billy Greulich, Michael Mackay, Callum Martin and Dylan Purvis have also left.

After finishing 16th in League One, Wadsworth is hoping to turn his squad into a stronger force ready for the next campaign, when he will hope to have a side challenging for promotion.

Although several players are leaving Victoria Park, the club have taken up the opportunity to exercise the options of keeping Steve Haslam and Colin Larkin, who will both stay on for another year.

That follows the news that captain Sam Collins will also be at the club next season, after the centre-back signed a new two-year deal.

As one of the senior pros at the club, Collins, 33, has played a big part in their progress this season.

Youth team player Paul Johnson has also signed a new contract after impressing Wadsworth, with professional contracts also being offered to youngsters Callum Hassan, Jordan Mellish and Jordan Richards.

With Wadsworth's summer overhaul underway, the club still has some negotiations to do with a number of his first-team regulars.

Neil Austin, Adam Boyd, James Brown, Scott Flinders, Peter Hartley, Gary Liddle, Andy Monkhouse, Paul Murray and Anthony Sweeney are all waiting to speak to the club.