JOHN Kear admits it does not get any easier telling players they can go.

The Bulls coach informed five players that they will not be getting new deals during the end-of-season review.

Matty Garside, Ashley Gibson, Callum Bustin, Matty Wildie and James Green have all been released.

Kear is looking to add another nine to the 14 players currently contracted as he works with a smaller squad for 2020.

But he has sympathy for those not deemed to be in the club’s plans for next season.

He said: “It’s very difficult. I think this group like being in and around each other but obviously part of our going forward is to have a smaller established first-team playing staff.

“That will inevitably mean a bit of heartache as well as elation.

“I would hope that they realise it’s nothing personal. We’ve got to look after the health of the club and the squad.

“We’ve got to attempt to achieve what we want to within those boundaries.”

The Bulls last week held one-to-one meetings with every member of the squad to review their performances over the Championship campaign – and targets for when they come back for pre-season.

“They have been very good,” added Kear. “It’s very in-depth and time consuming but I think it will be valuable for when they return.

“They’ve obviously been given specific targets. It’s given us some fresh ideas with regards to how we can improve as a group.

“It’s like a teacher’s report of the players. Then they fill a form in which asks them what they’ve done well and what they can do better as a group and a team.

“Prior to that, the strength and conditioning staff weigh them, take the skin folds and they make up a schedule which allows them to maintain their conditioning, while ensuring they either put weight on or lose it, if we want them to do that.

“As coaches, we’re allowed opinions and will give them to our players.

“But they’ve obviously got theirs as well and there are some very valuable thoughts that have come our way, especially from the more senior ones who have experienced other clubs and coaching regimes.”