New deals for trio as three depart Turf Moor

Jason Gilchrist has been released
Jason Gilchrist has been released

Burnley have offered new terms to three Development Squad players - and released three more.

Defenders Alex Whitmore and Arlen Birch and winger Christian Hill have received fresh terms for next season, but goalkeeper Danijel Nizic, midfielder Brandon Wilson and forward Jason Gilchrist have been informed their contracts will not be renewed.

Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Michael Jolley said: “We have offered new deals to the three players as we still see growth in them and there is more to come from them.

“We can see a pathway for them all at the moment to continue to develop and grow here at Burnley, whether that’s in our Development Squad or on loan elsewhere, and we think these three still have potential in areas we think they can make an impact.”

A decision for Development Squad forward George Green has yet to be made, with the former Everton youngster only arriving at Turf Moor in January.

Jolley explained: “Because George came into the group half-way through the season, we are going to give George a little bit more time before making a decision.

“He went through a period of time where we needed to get him up to full fitness and adjusting to how we operate - and he has made progress with that - but we are just going to buy ourselves some time before making a decision on him.“

On Nizic, Wilson and Gilchrist, Jolley added: “In all three cases, we have done this naturally for our benefit, but more so for the player’s benefit.

“All three need to go out and kick-on with their footballing careers elsewhere and we wish them all the very best of luck with that.

“Jason has been in our system for quite a while now and he has done fantastically well to come back from serious injury, and I’m happy to say he is back to full fitness and he is playing football again.

“We just felt that because of the quality of the strikers ahead of Jason at the football club, it was always going to be difficult for him to break through here, so it was in his best interest to let him go and establish himself elsewhere.

“Brandon has been a third year scholar this year and he has played numerous games for the Development Squad.

“Again, with the quality of central midfielders in the First Team and in the Development Squad, it would have been really difficult for Brandon to have broken through.

“He is currently on loan at Stockport County, where he is doing very well, and we wish him well in his future as he is a young international football, so I’m sure he will do something positive somewhere.

Jolley added: “The goalkeeping department has a very strong influence on the decisions of our goalkeepers and Dan had a loan at Crewe at the beginning of the season before returning to us.

“In making these decisions on all of our young players, we need to see a way forward for them to ultimately get into our first team, and given what’s ahead of him in the goalkeeping department we didn’t feel it was fair on Dan to keep him in our system because of the strong group of goalkeepers already at the club.

"Now we have informed the players of the decision, our job is to help them move forward in their career and help them find a new club."