Transfer listed Trio not part of Alexander’s plans

Damien Johnson is one of three players transfer listed
Damien Johnson is one of three players transfer listed

Fleetwood Town boss Graham Alexander has made it clear a trio of transfer listed 
players must move away from Highbury for the good of their careers.

Striker Steven Gillespie and midfielders Damien Johnson and Danny Rose were put up for sale by the Highbury club yesterday.

And Alexander, who is in the midst of a huge summer revamp of the Fleetwood squad, insisted it was in the players’ own interests to move on.

“We don’t want to keep people here just because they are under contract,” said Alexander.

“We had the chance, a few weeks ago to release the players who were out of contract.

“But that didn’t cover everyone.

“We’ve had a comprehensive review of what is needed, who we need to bring in and where we need to strengthen the squad.

“These players are not part of my plans.”

Alexander has moved quickly to strengthen his Highbury squad, bringing in Matty Blair, Steven Schumacher, Jeff Hughes and young defender Liam Hogan.

His main mission for the summer has been to reduce the size of the Town squad and the latest move, involving Johnson, Gillespie and Rose is part of that process.

“I want these lads to go and be able to play football, because as a professional that’s what you want to do.

“Danny has been out on loan for much of the season so he’s not really been around.

“The other two, we’ve had around, we’ve been able to look at them and in the end we’ve decided to go a different way.

“It’s not that they are bad players, they’re just not going to fit in with what we’re trying to do here. I hope we can get something sorted for them.”

Chief Executive Steve Curwood was of the same mind.

“We’ve released those players who were out of contract who weren’t in Graham’s plans.

“We’ve looked at the players we still have here under contact and it was decided the three who have been transfer listed weren’t going to be part of the squad we are building.

“They only really played very small bit parts in last season.

“To be fair to those players they’d be better off finding a club where they can play football which they need to do for the good of their careers.”

Johnson, 34, signed for Fleetwood last summer having been released by Huddersfield Town.

The former Birmingham City star played just 22 league games for Town.

His last appearance came in January coming on as a substitute in the 3-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers.

Gillespie, 27, was another of Micky Mellon’s high-profile summer signings. The former Colchester United striker failed to make the expected impact in League Two, 
bagging just four goals in his 22 league appearances during an injury-hit season.

He scored his last Fleetwood goal in October.

Rose, 25, spent much of last season on loan at Aldershot Town.

He joined Fleetwood club mid-way through the club’s Conference promotion campaign but failed to earn a regular start in Fleetwood’s midfield.