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04 June 2020

Brighton release seven WSL players as midfielder rejects new deal

Brighton and Hove Albion have released seven players, including their French midfielder who rejected a new deal after admitting she was homesick.

Lea Le Garrec was invited to re-sign the club but has decided to stay in France where she is currently on lockdown with her family.

The Seagulls’ manager, Hope Powell, said of Le Garrec: "Lea has been back at home in France during the lockdown and realised how much she has missed her family. 

“We’ve had lots of chats and she was very torn, but her family wanted her to stay and that was the deciding factor.

 “She told me that she loved being part of the club and living in the city. She is very sad to be leaving but family comes first and we of course respect her decision and wish her all the best for the future.”

The club have also released Kate Natkiel, Amanda Nilden, Sophie Harris, Fern Whelan and Ini Umotong who were not offered new deals.

And Maxime Bennink, who was on loan from Reading, has been released to rejoin her club.

Powell added: “Letting players go is never easy and there was a lot of discussion among all of the staff before we made what were extremely difficult decisions.

“I would like to thank Kate, Amanda, Sophie, Fern, Ini and Maxime for their commitment, dedication and hard work during their time here at Brighton. 

“They have always been totally professional and great team-mates. We wish them well for the future and will of course support them if they decide to continue in the professional game.”

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