Inverness CT to part company with 10 players in summer

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Grant Munro served Inverness for 13 years
Munro served Inverness for 13 years and became club captain

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have announced that 10 players will leave at the end of the season, while two loan players will return to their clubs.

Manager Terry Butcher has, though, made contract offers to Ross Tokely, Stuart Duff, Adam Rooney, Gavin Morrison, Shane Sutherland and Kenny Gilet.

Among the 10 to go are four veterans whose club service totals 44 years.

Former captain Grant Munro, Roy McBain, Stuart Golabek and Russell Duncan will end their long service at Inverness.

The other six on their way out are third-choice goalkeeper Max Johnson, defenders Chris Hogg and Chris Innes, midfielder Gil Blumenshtein and strikers Dani Sanchez and Eric Odihambo.

Of the six players to be offered new contracts, only Sutherland and Morrison have been given two-year deals, the others having been offered terms for one year.

That latter group includes defender Ross Tokely, Caley Thistle's longest-serving player with almost 15 years service.

Midfielder Alex MacDonald and forward Aaron Doran will return to Burnley and Blackburn respectively when their loan periods expire at the end of the season, although Butcher has not ruled out their return.

Chairman George Fraser paid tribute to the veteran players Munro, McBain, Golabek and Duncan on the club's website.

He said: "It is always a sad day when the old guard move on but we must build on the success we achieved this year."

With about 1,300 appearances between them, the four have contributed to most of Caley Thistle's finest hours, including two First Division titles, two Scottish Cup semi-finals, defeats of the Old Firm home and away and their participation in the Scottish Premier League.

The news has been met with mixed reaction by supporters,who seem to object most to the departure after 13 years of Inverness-born Munro, relieved of the captaincy last summer and now on the verge of departing altogether.

The 30-year-old defender received special mention from Fraser.

"Grant has been an exceptionally loyal servant to the club and demonstrates to all in our existing youth set-up that with the correct application, skill and determination you can progress to become captain of the club," he said.

"Unfortunately due to the current financial environment generally, but football in particular, contracts are all now short-term one or two-year deals and it is highly unlikely we will see a player with the service profile of Grant at the club again.

"On behalf of everyone at the club we wish Grant well for the future whilst extending our thanks to all the players who have served the club over the seasons through the lows and highs of relegation and promotion."

Butcher has made it plain in recent weeks that he and Fraser had been assessing the budget and playing squad for next season and that changes would be made.

McBain, 36, will leave after 11 years at the club, while Golabek's 10 years at Caley Thistle were split by a period at Ross County and a loan spell at Livingston.

The announcement follows earlier news that the most recent recruit of the four - Duncan, who arrived in 2001 - would be leaving.