Kilmarnock: Sammy Clingan among five first-team exits

Sammy Clingan in action for Kilmarnock
Sammy Clingan joined Kilmarnock from Doncaster

Sammy Clingan's two-and-a-half year spell at Kilmarnock has ended after he was named among five experienced first-team players being released.

The Northern Ireland cap is joined by fellow midfielder Paul Cairney, defender Chris Chantler, plus strikers Lee Miller and Nathan Eccleston.

Skipper Manuel Pascali and midfielder Alexei Eremenko are also likely exits.

Both have been offered one-year contracts, but they have indicated that the offers are not acceptable.

Eremenko, whose second spell with Kilmarnock started in 2013 after he exited Rubin Kazan, told BBC Scotland that he expects to leave the Scottish Premiership club.

While he has rival offers to remain in Scotland, the 32-year-old Finland international's preference is to head abroad to "somewhere warm and near the sea".

Defender Pascali claimed on social media site Twitter that there was a "small hope" he would stay at Rugby Park.

Manuel Pascali in action for Kilmarnock
Captain Manuel Pascali has been with Kilmarnock since 2008

The 33-year-old Italian, who joined the Ayrshire club in 2008 after leaving Parma, added that he was "not gonna beg anyone".

Clingan, the 31-year-old who made 28 appearances this season and has 36 international caps, joined Kilmarnock from Doncaster Rovers in 2013 and signed a two-year contract extension last summer.

Eccleston, arrived at Rugby Park in February after leaving Partick Thistle, but the much-travelled former Blackpool 24-year-old Englishman scored only once in 10 appearances.

The 32-year-old Miller, who signed a two-year contract after leaving Carlisle United last summer, also only netted once in his 22 appearances.

English full-back Chantler, 24, who also arrived from Carlisle, made 29 appearances.

Midfielder Cairney, 27, who was signed last summer after leaving Hibernian, only made three starts in his 16 outings.

Kilmarnock have also announced that 21-year-old midfielder Euan Smith, who started the season on loan to Clyde, and forwards Dylan Pooler, 18, and Mark Thomson, 19, are being released.

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