Preston boss Simon Grayson has challenged the players he has released this summer to ‘go away and prove him wrong’.
The North End boss told the club’s current crop of second year apprentices in a series of meetings yesterday afternoon.
And while Ben Davies, Ryan Croasdale and Steven James were all given one year contracts, eight of their peers including Brandon Zibaka were released.
Zibaka who is the youngest player in the club’s history and Josh Amis, Jack Sowerby, Alan Scurry, David Kuba-Kuba, Matt Greenwood, Daniel Forbes and Adam Thurston were all shown the door by North End but Grayson insists that many could still have bright futures away from Deppdale.
“It is an uneasy decision to do it because they (the apprentices) have built their lives up to try and become a professional footballer,” said Grayson.
“They travel the length and breadth of the country, parents have followed them around doing this, that and the other and it is a ruthless industry and it is not easy, but I have to tell the players and I like to have the conversation with them face-to-face rather than sort of let the youth team coach do it because I would want them to come and prove me wrong and go and make a career because that’s how it has to be.”
“Don’t go and sulk and think I am not going to be a footballer, go away and prove it at another club.”
“It is a real difficult time for everybody involved when you have to make these decisions, but you have to make them decisions for the best of the football club and ultimately sometimes for the player.”