St Johnstone cull misfiring strikers

St Johnstone have released nine first-team players - most of them strikers - but have not given up hope of persuading Michael Duberry to stay.

The 35-year-old defender is expected to return to England for family reasons.

And forwards Collin Samuel, Andy Jackson, Peter MacDonald, Jordan Robertson and Scott Dobie all exit the Premier League's lowest scorers.

Goalkeeper Graeme Smith, wingers Danny Invincibile and Cleveland Taylor, plus defender Kevin Rutkiewicz, also leave.

Defender Alan Maybury has been offered a new contract, while under-19 goalkeeper Zander Clark has been offered a short-term contract.

St Johnstone defender Michael Duberry

Duberry has become an influential and well-loved figure at McDiarmid Park

But young players Neil Duffy, Jack Clisby, Ryan Sullivan and Johnny Lindsay have all been released.

There was no mention of Danny Grainger in St Johnstone's list of departures, despite the club website itself suggesting earlier that the 24-year-old former Gretna and Dundee United left-back's second-half appearance on Saturday would be his last for the Perth outfit.

Duberry has been a mainstay of the Saints defence since arriving in January 2010 after his departure from Wycombe Wanderers.

Travelling Saints fans gave the former Chelsea, Leeds United, Stoke City and Reading centre-half what the club describe as a "great ovation" after Saturday's 0-0 draw with St Mirren.

Despite that, Saints' website concluded that: "The lure of a young family back in England is likely to win the day against a desire to remain at a club he thoroughly enjoys."

However, it stressed that manager Derek McInnes had not given up hope of persuading the Englishman to stay at McDiarmid Park.

McInnes himself last week rejected an offer to become Brentford's new boss and had already announced that long-serving MacDonald would be among those departing the Perth outfit.

The 30-year-old, who joined Saints after leaving Rangers in 2001, has made 29 appearances this season.

However, the striker whose career has been blighted by injury has only scored once this term as St Johnstone's strikeforce netted a combined 23 goals in 38 games.