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Butcher wields the axe at Rodney Parade.

IT was a case of Butcher by name and Butcher by nature, as the new boss at Newport County wielded the axe at the club with a dozen senior Exiles' players biting the dust.

Terry Butcher wasted no time in starting his clear out at Rodney Parade, cutting short a family holiday to concentrate on his duties at the club and the first of those duties was to show the door to some familiar faces. He spent the day breaking, the mostly bad news, to the County squad individually.

Striker Aaron O'Connor, goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, Lee Minshull and captain Andy Sandell are among the men regarded as superfluous to requirements by Butcher.

Shaun Jeffers, Max Porter, Jamie Stephens, Robbie Willmott, Ismail Yakubu, Mike Flynn and Kyle Patten are the other senior players to be released. Youngster Joe Parker has also left County. Miles Storey and David Tutonda have both been thanked for their services on loan at County last season.

Just seven players at the club are under contract for next season: Joe Day, Mark Byrne, Kevin Feely, Yan Klukowski, Aaron Collins, Tom Owen-Evans and Kieran Parselle.

Butcher has offered contract extensions to Darren Jones, Ryan Jackson and Andrew Hughes.

Meanwhile, creative midfielder Adam Chapman has turned down a new deal to stay at Rodney Parade.

England international legend Butcher took the reins from the departing Jimmy Dack after the Exiles finished their League Two campaign with a ninth-place finish.

It will be a tall order for Butcher, who has enjoyed success in Scotland as boss at Inverness previously, to improve on that, but he has got down to business straight away.

Despite just arriving in South Wales, the 58-year-old, has shown immediately he very much has his own ideas about how the playing side of the club will move forward. And in his desire to get off to a flying start with his plans, the Butcher family has had to return home early from their sunshine break.

And Butcher admitted it had been tough to let some of the County supporters favourite players go.

"It may seem like it's the end of an era, and I certainly sympathise with the players and fans" said Butcher. "A lot of the players that I've let go have been terrific servants for Newport and I want to pay tribute to what they've achieved. I said that to them when I spoke to them.

"It's been a difficult day and a difficult time, that's why I came back early. The players have been very good about it, very professional and very honest. We all have to move on, I've got ideas on the squad and what I want to do with it. We've looked at the squad, we've looked at what we want to do and who we want to bring in. I can't name any names yet, but we want to change the dynamics of this squad as well. It's a time for change, a time for new ideas and new thoughts."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 13, 2015
Words:500
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