During the positivity of Darren Ferguson’s early weeks at Doncaster Rovers, the development of young players at the club was a major plus point.
Within a few short months, the likes of Harry Middleton and Mitchell Lund were handed new long term contracts, with the club keen to strengthen its grip on its young assets.
But 18 months later, both youth team graduates find themselves on the transfer list with Ferguson no longer believing they can help Rovers continue on an upward curve.
Cedric Evina was another player given a lenghty contract who now finds himself available for transfer.
So what went wrong for the trio?
“There was a lot of faith in these players at that time,” Ferguson told the Free Press.
“But it’s not worked out.
“It’s not just games, I have to take into consideration what I see on the training ground.
“I just haven’t seen enough improvement in Harry and Mitchell.
“With Mitchell, I’ve got Matty Blair and Craig Alcock that can play right back and Niall Mason can play there as well.
“With Harry, I just feel he needs a fresh challenge.
“Sometimes it can be like that as a player.
“Putting the players on the transfer list were very difficult decisions but I feel we just need to get better.”
Joining Middleton, Lund and Evina in being made available for transfer are Andy Williams and Ross Etheridge.
Meanwhile Paul Keegan, Gary McSheffrey and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair were released after reaching the end of their contracts. Youngsters Joe Pugh and Joey McCormick were also released.
Ferguson said: “With Keegs, when I spoke to him it was just about that he’s had a lot of injuries and probably needs a different direction.
“With Gary McSheffrey, the injuries killed him because he’s a very good player and a very good lad.
“And Aaron, that was a tough decision but I know I can improve that area of the pitch, left back. We’re close to signing one.
“The two younger lads were just not up to the standard required.”