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St Mirren: John Sutton and Stelios Demetriou among eight first-team exits

John Sutton and Stelios Demetriou
John Sutton and Stelios Demetriou are among 17 players leaving St Mirren

John Sutton has described his four years with St Mirren as "fantastic" as the veteran striker was named among eight exiting first-team players.

The Buddies have secured promotion by winning the Championship title.

Defenders Stelios Demetriou and Gary Irvine, midfielder Massimo Donati and striker Darryl Duffy are also released.

"It's been a fantastic place to play," said the 34-year-old Sutton, who is in his second two-year spell with the Paisley club.

"It's going to be a shame, but at the same time I'm looking forward to a new challenge somewhere."

Sutton has played 21 times this season, scoring twice, but has been mainly used as a substitute as manager Jack Ross turned a side that escaped relegation last season into title winners.

"Last season was strange, because Hibs were in the league and Dundee United were really strong," said the Englishman, who also won promotion in his first spell with the club.

"We felt we had a good chance with the calibre of players we had, but we just never got it together.

"The young boys have come in and done brilliant."

Lewis Morgan and Liam Smith celebrate with St Mirren
Lewis Morgan and Liam Smith return to their parent clubs

Cyprus international Demetriou, who joined from Doxa Katokopias last summer, is among 17 players leaving the Paisley 2021 Stadium and exits after 31 appearances.

Former Dundee full-back Irvine, 33, only played 12 times, while 37-year-old former Celtic midfielder Donati made just a single appearance following his switch from Hamilton Academical in January.

Duffy, the 34-year-old former Hull City and Swansea City striker, played four times for the Buddies this season and ended the season on loan to Airdrieonians, scoring four times in his last six games for the League One side.

Josh Todd, 23, is also released after ending the season on loan to Championship rivals Queen of the South, as are fellow midfielders Darren Whyte, 21, who was on loan to Forfar Athletic, and Nathan Flanagan, 20, who was with East Fife.

Lewis Morgan, the 21-year-old winger sold to Celtic in January but loaned back for the rest of the season, ends his four-year stay with the Paisley club.

Midfielder Mark Hill, who made four appearances on loan from Celtic, and Hearts defender Liam Smith also return to their parent clubs.

Midfielders Conor O'Keefe, Evan Horne and Robbie Leitch, defenders Andrew McDonald and Dylan McKendry, plus goalkeeper Chris Henry, have also departed from St Mirren's development squad.

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