Lawrence among five released by Whitehawk
Whitehawk have parted company with five players, including skipper Matt Lawrence and veteran midfielder Kevin Maher, as boss Steve King seeks a ‘different direction’ for the club.
Full-back Jason St Juste, who only signed for the Hawks a fortnight ago, has also left after struggling with the travelling from his Leeds base.
Loan pair Dominic Green and Ashley Carew have been allowed to return to their parent clubs.
But it is the departure of Lawrence, who led the Hawks to the Ryman Premier Division title, that comes as the biggest surprise.
The 39-year-old, who played in the FA Cup final with Millwall in 2004, joined Hawks in the summer of 2012 after a career which also included spells with Wycombe, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Gillingham.
He had missed just two games in the current campaign before being dropped to the bench last weekend.
Former Southend skipper Maher, whose tally of 500 Football League appearances is not far short of Lawrence’s figure, is another high-profile casualty.
He had joined in December under previous manager Darren Freeman but has been let go as part of King’s drive to improve Whitehawk’s league position.
The Hawks boss said: “I feel we need to go in a different direction. We need to get people on the ball, passing the ball.
“We have had two wins and two defeats so far [in King’s time as manager], although we shouldn’t have lost at Weston last week.
“I knew how it would be when I came in. I knew it would be tough but we need to strengthen in order to pick up enough points to stay up, which I’m convinced we will do.”
King has so far brought in Dean McDonald, Kieran Forbes, Waide Fairhurst and young Tottenham goalkeeper Jonathan Miles since taking over at the Enclosed Ground last month.