Summer cull starts at Albion

Last updated : 22 May 2009 By Iain Bate - Wba-mad Editor

Carl Hoefkens, Pele and Jared Hodgkiss are all to be released when their current deals expire at the end of the season after the club decided against exercising an additional year on their contracts.

The trio are set to the be the first of a number of players who leave the club in the summer after chairman Jeremy Peace revealed the club will look to have 20 first-team pros in the squad next season. 

Sherjill MacDonald is also set to exit after agreeing to join Germinal Beerschot, while Jay Simpson and Ryan Donk will return to their parent clubs after loan spells at The Hawthorns. 

“Buying players is certainly a possibility but what has proved successful for us over the last few seasons is the strategy of loaning players with an option to buy them - players such as Ishmael Miller, Juan Carlos Menseguez and Youssouf Mulumbu fall into that category,” said Peace.

"It gives them the chance to come in and prove themselves and meanwhile we can see what type of characters they are.

"It can de-risk a longer-term deal and is therefore a good way to go.

"This summer we want to bring people in who can further strengthen the team even though we've gone down a level."

Marek Cech also seems set to leave after he revealed his intentions to search for a new club after a frustrating first season in English football.  The former Porto man has been unable to dislodge left-back Paul Robinson for a starting berth and has attracted interest from a number of clubs.  While boss Tony Mowbray has no issues with Cech leaving he insisted it would only be on Albion’s terms.

“Marek has made his situation clear to us," Mowbray revealed.

"He has been very professional since he has been here and done his job, and when he has been asked to play he has done very well.

"He did come here to play and unfortunately he hasn't been able to break past Paul Robinson.

"I have no problem and if I feel it is right for the club and for the player then we will look at everything.

"Regarding where he goes I have an open mind, I haven't had any contact from anyone at this moment.

"The bottom line with any player who leaves is we are not in the business of giving any players away who have cost us money.

"They need to match our valuation if they want Marek's registration."