Carlisle United manager Chris Beech says forward Harry McKirdy has been released because he wasn’t settled at the club.
The former Stoke City academy player is one of ten players who is being let go by the Cumbrians when their contracts are up on June 30.
McKirdy was in the City youth system from ages seven to 14 before leaving to join Aston Villa.
He then had loans in the Football League before joining Carlisle last season – and has become familiar to Port Vale supporters having played against their side for Stevenage, Crewe and Carlisle.
Beech says the 23 year old, from Trentham, needed to move on despite scoring 11 goals in 26 starts and 12 substitute appearances this past season.
The manager, who took charge in November, told BBC Cumbria Sport: “I respect the skill sets he has got – 100 per cent I do.
“But I stopped playing at 29, and am 45 so have been coaching and managing different situations for a long time. To take something on a journey, the other person has got to want to go with you. And there are a lot of reasons why and why not.
“But without getting too detailed in it, you could tell his frustrations when we would lose games. He would try to take on the paddock….
“We’d win a game and really enjoy it, and he struggled.
“Harry wasn’t happy. He lives in Harry’s world. Harry needs to find a place where he is happy for those skill sets to be more consistent.
“I feel as though we improved him, I got quite a lot out of him in January. But in terms of overall, I think he himself was quite happy to look at not being at Carlisle.
“So, I don’t want to get a footballer in a headlock and make him do something he doesn’t want to do. There is no real benefit to anybody in it in terms of protecting the club and the club’s assets.
“I could have put Harry in a corner in a contractual aspect. But ultimately in the current climate I can’t see (clubs) getting compensation for lower league players.
“And I can’t see, once someone is locked in who doesn’t want to be in the area, knuckling down and doing it to get out of it.
“It was the best thing to do and I wish him well. He is getting towards his mid-twenties now, he’s not 19 and you have to really crack on at this point otherwise it is too late. In football you blink and your career is gone.”