Published: 15:00, 20 May 2019
| Updated: 16:21, 20 May 2019
Gillingham have confirmed that contract offers are on the table for leading scorer Tom Eaves and goalkeeper Tomas Holy while others depart.
The club have released Alex Lacey, with the defender following senior players Billy Bingham and Luke O’Neill out of the Priestfield exit door.
Also leaving the club is young keeper Tom Hadler, who has been understudy to Holy throughout the season. His only league appearance came towards the end of the previous campaign.
Despite a new contract being offered, Eaves, 27, looks destined to move on, having top scored for the Gills in each of the last two seasons.
The former Yeovil striker hit 18 goals in his first season for the club and did even better this season, finishing with 22 goals to his name.
Big Czech keeper Tomas Holy is another who is expected to leave, having first joined in January 2017.
He managed to establish himself as first-choice in the team and has become a popular player, making 97 league appearances for the club.
Eaves, who landed the players’ player-of-the-year award after another good season, recently told the club’s website that he is going to take a break before coming to a decision over his future.
He said: “I’m going to Portugal now. I’ll chill out for a while and not do a thing. I’ll take a few weeks off, I’ll completely switch off and come back hungrier.”
Holy – who is rumoured to be in talks with relegated Championship side Ipswich Town - told his facebook followers that he was “mostly satisfied” with his season, in which he was an ever-present in goal.
He said: “I think that the potential of the team is bigger than the 13th place. It wasn’t enough to fight for Championship qualification though.
“I think I can be satisfied with the season. There are a lot of games throughout the year and it’s not easy to display balanced performances. That’s why I’m really happy to have started in all of 46 league games plus another six in cup games. Plus I got more clean sheets than last year.”
Alex Lacey won’t be retained by the Gills and leaves after two seasons. The 25-year-old joined on a free following a successful time in League 2 at Yeovil.
But he’s been hampered by injury during his time at the Gills and has struggled to get games following the form of players infront of him, limiting the centre-back to 27 league appearances.
Bingham announced he is leaving the Gills last week after a couple of injury-hit seasons.
The 28-year-old moved to Priestfield in 2017 after leaving Crewe Alexandra.
Bingham said: "I’ve had a tough but enjoyable 2 years.
"The fans have been great with me and something I will not forget. Made some great friends and wish everyone the best next season."
Bingham made 34 appearances for the Gills but never got on the scoresheet. Injuries meant he has figured just four times since New Year's Day in his final campaign with the club after struggling with a calf problem.
Defender Luke O'Neill was left out of the team for the final game at Blackpool and is now looking for a new challenge after a successful two seasons with the Gills.
The 27-year-old right-back leaves having played 76 league games for the club.
“I’ve had a great two seasons but a new challenge now awaits me,” he said.
"Thanks to all you Gillingham fans that made me feel welcome.
"Made some great friends and had some great times.”
O'Neill joined the Gills on a free transfer following his release by Southend United in 2017 and quickly established himself in the team.
He earned a reputation for scoring great free-kicks, including a stunner against Luton Town this season.
Young defender Ryan Huckle and goalkeeper Louie Catherall have been released by the club.
But there are offers for fellow youngsters Jack Tucker, Henry Woods, Ben Chapman, Aaron Simpson, Jack Morrell and Bradley Stevenson.
Pro deals have been offered to youth players TJ Bramble, Roman Campbell, Joe Walsh and Miguel Scarlett.
Contracted players are Mark Byrne, Regan Charles-Cook, Max Ehmer, Barry Fuller, Bradley Garmston, Brandon Hanlan, Elliott List, Darren Oldaker, Dean Parrett, Josh Rees, Callum Reilly and Gabriel Zakuani.
A club statement said: "For those leaving the club we would like to place on record our gratitude and thanks for their hard work and loyal service during their time at Priestfield."
The Gills remain managerless but odds on Steve Evans being the new man in charge tumbled over the weekend, with Sky Bet offering 1/5 on him replacing Steve Lovell as the club’s new manager.
More by this authorLuke Cawdell