Horwood released by Hartlepool United

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EVAN Horwood was the shock name to be released by relegated Hartlepool United.

The 27-year-old left-back has barely missed a match since signing for his hometown club in 2010, appearing 138 times in three seasons, each year emerging as the team’s top assist-maker.

Horwood will not be short of suitors given his record though.

The list of released players included striker Colin Nish, who has been on loan at Dundee for the bulk of the campaign, midfielder Nathan Luscombe, who made just six starts in two seasons after joining from Sunderland, as well as fringe players Paul Johnson and Nathan Buddle and reserve-team goalkeeper Adam McHugh.

The club have exercised extension options on the contracts of right-back Neil Austin, striker James Poole and former academy midfielder Lewis Hawkins.

They will now be part of the squad which begins next season in League Two.

However, discussions are ongoing with senior trio Ritchie Humphreys, 35, Sam Collins, 35, and Andy Monkhouse, 32.

Their current deals are set to expire but it appears the club would like to retain their services and so further contract talks are expected over the coming days.