Richard Foster among host of Partick Thistle player departures as manager Ian McCall begins squad rebuild

The Jags finished fourth in the Scottish Championship and fell at the first hurdle in the pyramid play-offs after losing out to third-placed Inverness over two legs last week.

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Partick Thistle have announced the departure of seven first-team players following the conclusion of their 2021/22 campaign.

The Jags, who finished in fourth spot in the Scottish Championship, suffered quarter final play-off heartache against Inverness over two legs, losing 3-1 on aggregate as their promotion hopes ended.

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Ian McCall’s side have now began preparations for a second successive season in Scottish football’s second tier by confirming the list of players who will leave the club upon the expiry of their contracts later this month.

Inverness' Austin Samuels and Partick Thistle's Tunji Akinola. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Richard Foster, Steven Bell, Ciaran McKenna, Connor Murray, Stephen Hendrie, Ross MacIver and Shea Gordon will all depart Firhill, while Lewis Mayo, Andy Firth, Juan Alegria, Kyle McAllister and Alex Jakubiak have all returned to their parent clubs at the end of their loan spells.

Thistle remain in discussions with Robbie Crawford over a extending his stay after the midfielder joined on a short-term deal following his decision to quit Premiership side Motherwell in January.

Blair Lyons, who failed to make his first-team breakthrough, will join Montrose permanently this summer having already signed a pre-contract agreement with the Gable Endies, while Mouhamed Niang, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Alloa Athletic, has been told he is free to leave if the midfielder can find a new club.

Youngsters James Lyon, Gospel Ocholi, Billy Owens and Mason McCready will re-join the first-team squad for next season as they serve the second year of their modern apprenticeship.

Thistle boss McCall said: “It’s that time of the year where tough decisions have to be made as we look to build a squad for next season.

“It’s never easy to tell any player that they’re leaving the club, but today was extra difficult. All of the players have played their part in our Championship season and reaching the Premiership play-offs.

Partick Thistle's Richard Foster was involved in a terracing spat with his own fans in the recent 3-1 defeat to Ayr United. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“I must add that Richard Foster and Steven Bell have been hugely important figures, on and off the pitch, during this period.

“With a few players out on loan, and their seasons at an end, I felt it would have been unfair to delay telling them about their futures until our play-off journey had concluded.

“Mouhamed Niang has another year in his contract but we won’t stand in his way if he can find another Club this summer as he is at a vital stage in his development and needs gametime that we can’t promise him at Firhill.

“I thank them all and wish them all the very best for the future.”