Following their 3-0 defeat to Northampton Town in the Division One Play-off Semi-Final, Jonte Smith’s Cheltenham Town confirmed the club's retained and released list following the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.
Smith along with Rhys Lovett, Archie Brennan, Rohan Ince, and Luke Varney have been released at the end of their contracts. Smith was signed midway through the season until the end of the season.
Commenting on the players who are now leaving the club manager Michael Duff said, "This is the horrible part of the game. Particularly after last night, you're having to have conversations 12 hours after the disappointment of last night. It's the ruthless and horrible side.
"You make an emotional connection with these people. You've got a vested interest in their careers because everyone who is working with me I want to do well. Sometimes you can't have the same XI year on year on.
"Obviously there are financial constraints as well which sometimes comes into the equation, particularly with the unknown future in terms of crowds and you've got to factor that in as well. It's sometimes a case of not what you want to do, it's what you have to do.
"We wish everybody all the best. One thing they've all been is very good people, which is the most important thing."
Regarding the departure of frontman Varney, Duff added: "He has been an unbelievable signing and an unbelievable person for the football club on and off the pitch.
"He was a fantastic signing for us. I could be a manager for another 25 years and he might be my best ever signing and luckily he was my first. What he's done for the club, what he's done for me means there's nothing but respect.
"I've had a really good chat with him today and we shook hands and said 'thanks very much'. We've been good for each other. A lot of the culture that is now set at the club is down to him, he has driven that with his professionalism and drive."
Everybody at Cheltenham Town would like to thank the players who are leaving the club for their service and for being part of such a special and successful season and wish them all the best with their future careers.