Aberdeen to release 11 players at end of season

Aberdeen midfielder Gavin Rae

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has announced that 11 Dons players will not be offered new deals.

Stephen Hughes and Jordon Brown have also been told they can leave despite having contracts for next season.

First-team players Rory Fallon, Mitch Megginson, Rob Milsom, Gary Naysmith, Isaac Osbourne, Gavin Rae and Dan Twardzik are to leave Pittodrie.

Youth players Scott MacAulay, Zach Szemis, Stuart Close and Jamie Hamilton will also not be offered contracts.

But striker Josh Magennis will be offered a new deal by McInnes, who succeeded Craig Brown in March.

Aberdeen defender Gary Naysmith
Naysmith has been troubled by injury since arriving at Pittodrie

The Dons manager told his club's website: "It's one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job to tell players that they won't be staying and I would like to thank all of them for their contribution to this football club.

"Each of them are excellent professionals and we wish them all the very best in their future careers."

McInnes had told BBC Scotland at the weekend that the number of out-of-contract players gave him the opportunity to reshape a squad that finished outside the top six in the Scottish Premier League.

The list of freed players contains two who have won Scotland caps, while striker Fallon is a New Zealand international.

Former Rangers and Cardiff City midfielder Rae moved to Pittodrie from Dundee in January 2012 and the 35-year-old has made 40 appearances this season.

Naysmith, the former Hearts, Everton and Sheffield United left-back, arrived in August after leaving Huddersfield Town, but 34-year-old has been limited to 11 appearances in a season affected by injury.

Former Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Swansea, Plymouth and Yeovil striker Fallon has been with Aberdeen since August 2011 but has scored only two goals in 17 appearances this season, a red card in the 1-1 draw with Dundee last week ensuring it would be the 31-year-old's last.

Milsom, who joined Aberdeen after leaving Fulham in 2011, is another whose season has been hampered by injury, making 14 appearances.

Fellow 26-year-old English midfielder Osbourne, who has been at Pittodrie since exiting Coventry City in 2011, has played 26 times this season.

Striker Megginson, a 20-year-old product of the Dons' youth system, has spent the latter half of the season on loan to Alloa Athletic, scoring three goals as they finished second in Division Two.

German goalkeeper Twardzik has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Dons since arriving from Calcio Como in January, when it was announced that the 21-year-old signed an 18-month contract.

The Pittodrie future of two players remains uncertain after they were told they were no longer wanted.

Midfielder Hughes, formerly of Rangers, Leicester, Norwich and MK Dons, joined Aberdeen after leaving Motherwell in January 2012 and the 30-year-old, capped once by Scotland, has made 27 appearances this term.

Defender Brown made his first two Dons appearances as a substitute at the start of the season, but the 21-year-old has since been on loan to Forfar Athletic as they progressed to the promotion play-offs in Division Two.

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