Tough decisions made as five told to pack bags
DOUGIE Freedman admitted some tough decisions had to be made after Crystal Palace released five players this week.
Lee Hills, Calvin Andrew, Nathaniel Pinney, Jake Caprice and Charlie Holness have all been told that their contracts will not be extended when they expire next month, leaving them free to find other clubs.
And while releasing players is part and parcel of the modern day game, Freedman said it did not make the decisions any easier.
He said: "It is always a tough decision to release any player.
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"Lee Hills has been with us for a long time, but he went two years without playing.
"We have rehabilitated him in the right way, but he needs first-team games now."
The 22-year-old left-back spent part of the season on loan at Southend and while he made eight appearances for the League Two outfit, Freedman said he now needed to find regular first-team football.
Freedman, however, added that the decision to release Hills may come back to "bite the club in the backside", but he said with the likes of Dean Moxey, Jonathan Parr and Matthew Parsons in the Palace squad, Hills was unlikely to get the opportunities that he deserved.
Another long-time Eagle being released is Andrew, a 25-year-old striker who has made more than 50 appearances for the club since signing from Luton Town in 2008.
Andrew has spent several spells on loan at other clubs during that time and Freedman said he now needed to go out and play somewhere else.
Meanwhile, youngsters Pinney, Caprice and Holness will also depart Selhurst Park at the end of June, with Freedman adding that it was always a "difficult decision" to make with the younger players.