Chester have released six players following their close brush with relegation from the National League.

Defender Sam Hughes and striker James Alabi have both been offered improved deals by City, who finished 19th.

But the club understand that both players “will explore their options”.chester

The six to be let go are Chester’s former Wrexham trio, winger Elliott Durrell and defenders Blaine Hudson and Johnny Hunt, as well as defenders Ross Killock and Kieran Evans and striker Kane Richards.

Defender Theo Vassell and goalkeeper Liam Roberts both return to Walsall following their season-long loan, as does midfielder Ryan Lloyd to relegated Port Vale.

The highly-rated Hughes, 20, who was even made captain by manager Jon McCarthy towards the end of the season, is understood to be coveted by several Championship clubs, including Barnsley and QPR.

Top scorer Alabi, 22, hit 17 goals – a total by the ex-Scunthorpe and Ipswich man that was bettered only by seven other National League strikers.

After slumping from seventh on Boxing Day to finish the season just two points clear of trouble, ending the season with eight straight home defeats, Chester fans have called for change at Bumpers Lane.

But chief executive Mark Maguire sees the bigger picture for a reformed, fan-owned club who have now had four seasons in the non-league top flight since winning three successive promotions after having to restart life down in the eighth tier in 2010.

And he totally backs manager Jon McCarthy, who has been guaranteed greater funds next season.

Maguire told BBC Radio Merseyside: “This club has reached its level financially.

“We’ve limped over the line. But I’ve been desperate for the season to end, so now the real work can start. We have loads of stuff in the pipeline.

“We’re working on what we need to do across the board. It’s not just about the make-up of the playing squad, but the whole club.

“It’s about being accountable to the fans. And I’m convinced that the fan-owned model can really succeed. AFC Wimbledon have done brilliantly.”


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