CREWE Alexandra boss Dave Artell says he released midfielder Billy Bingham after he expressed a desire to return to the south.

Bingham was one of seven players who featured on Artell’s list of out-of-contract players who would not be retained for next season.

Ben Nugent, Harry Davis, Callum Saunders, Marcus Poscha, Andy Dawber and Danny Hollands have also been released, although Artell says he is planning talks with Hollands about staying on.

In reference to Bingham, Artell says he appreciated the 26-year-old’s honesty in telling him he wanted to move closer to his family.

“I spoke to Billy and he informed me that he wanted to move closer to home,” he told

“He missed being close to his family and friends and I respected his honesty.

“Billy has done well for me since I took over. I think he has played more games in the last six months than at any other time during his time here.

“He was terrific for us and he did well at centre-half as well when we needed him.

“He goes with our best wishes because he is a good lad.

“I want to keep Danny. I will speak to him later in the week and I will offer him a new deal.

“I told him on Saturday that was the plan. It was a bit different because of his injury but he has done brilliantly to get back.”

George Ray, Jon Guthrie, Oliver Turton, Perry Ng, Oliver Finney and Dave Richards have all been offered new deals, while loan trio Alex Kiwomya, Jordan Bowery and Callum Cooke have returned to their parent clubs.

The Alex finished their season strongly as Chris Dagnall’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-1 win over Barnet at Gresty Road in their final game of the season.

The result means Crewe finish the League Two season in 17th having amassed 55 points from their 46 games.

Artell, who is in his first ever management role, says he has learned a lot since taking over in January as he prepares for his first full season in charge.

“I have enjoyed it. There have been dark days along the way as well,” he said.

“The results against Hartlepool, Yeovil, Newport or the second half performance at Accrington. They were all dark moments but you learn from it.

“There have been some great days as well. The trip back from Portsmouth was great and we have had some really good performances and results.

“There are plenty of highs and lows in sport and you have to take it because the rewards are great when they come along.”

Meanwhile, The Alex have confirmed a pre-season friendly against Premier League side Stoke City at Gresty Road on July 30.