NEWPORT County boss Peter Beadle admits yesterday was the toughest time in his managerial career after he informed five members of his first team squad that they are no longer required.
Skipper John Brough, striker Dean Holdsworth, midfielders Tyrone Topper, and Ashley Williams and defender Stewart Edwards are those who have left.
All of the other players in the first team picture were offered new deals.
Of those players Sam O'Sullivan and Richard Evans have asked for more time to consider the terms and striker Charlie Griffin wasn't able to meet with Beadle - though he is thought to be keen on staying at Spytty Park.
The rest of the first team squad are now committed for next season after agreeing to stay.
Midfielder Lee Fowler - who signed for County on loan near the end of the campaign - has also agreed a deal to join the club, the Argus can reveal.
And Beadle expects to sign a replacement for influential skipper Brough within the next 24 hours. He says the decision to part company with his popular captain was the hardest of all.
He explained: "Yesterday was a long, tough day, the hardest of my managerial career. It wasn't nice to make those decisions.
"Broughy was an especially tough call to make. I've known him for years and consider him to be a friend.
"He was a massive factor in us staying up a year ago and he has given me everything this season.
"But I feel it is time to bring in a younger player and though John was disappointed he understands.
"He is looking to move into coaching and I have no doubt we'll see him move somewhere and become a player coach or player manager shortly because he has a huge amount to offer.
"Dean (Holdsworth) was signed on a temporary basis and did exactly what I asked of him, but he is 38 and has a lot of other things going on in his life.
"We will look to add another striker, someone a bit younger and fresher.
"With the other three (Edwards, Williams and Topper) it is a case of them needing to get regular first team football at this stage in their careers and I can't offer them that here.
"All of the players who are leaving the club would have liked to stay, but I have a difficult job to do and have had to make a tough decision.
"I'd like to thank all of those leaving the club for their efforts."
The boss is delighted with the acquisition of Fowler and has promised County fans more signings of a similar calibre.
"Lee offers us something different and is a player who can make us better," said Beadle.
"We are waiting on the paperwork, but the deal should go through today.
"We want to improve the squad and we are chasing three more players who we feel can take us to the next level.
"We hope to sign someone as well as Lee either today or tomorrow, and within the next couple of weeks I would like to have everything settled for next season."