NEWPORT County AFC favourites Scot Bennett and Jamille Matt insist they hold no grudges after having to leave Rodney Parade because of the coronavirus crisis.

The financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic means that the Exiles have offered no fresh contracts for the 2020/21.

With the club fearing a 40 per cent hit to their income because of the prospect of starting the League Two campaign behind closed doors, manager Michael Flynn will have to work with a thin squad.

County's squad are currently furloughed but it will be those that were on long-term deals and academy prospects that return for pre-season training to prepare for a September or October kick-off.

Utility man Bennett was a firm fixture in the Exiles side after arriving from Notts County in October, 2015.

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The 29-year-old, who racked up 154 appearances for the club, said that Flynn had wanted him to stay.

"It was not the way I saw it playing out or how I thought it would go," said Bennett on social media.

"Never been in this situation before, where the manager wants you to stay but can't (offer a deal), but these times are hard for all involved so no hard feelings.

"Now it looks like it's time to move on to a new chapter in my life.

"Over the last four and a half years I have had some of my best moments in football. The memories made will last forever.

"I just want to thank all the players, managers and staff that I have worked with, they have all helped and made my time here special.

"I would mainly like to thank the fans for accepting me from the very start and making me and my family feel at home and settled.

"I wish the club all the very best in the future and will always look out for their results. Up the 'port."

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Matt was closing in on a century of appearances in just two seasons.

The forward scored 20 goals in 2019/20, including a header in the FA Cup win against Leicester and late strike in Morecambe that earned a place in the play-offs.

The 30-year-old didn't quite hit those heights last season but remained a constant in the matchday squad with 40 appearances, hitting the net six times.

"The last two years have been brilliant and there have been some great memories which I am proud to be a part of when I look back," he said.

"Also, a big thank you to the gaffer and 'Hats' (assistant Wayne Hatswell) for bringing me to the club in the first place.

"The boys are some of the best I've played with, on and off the pitch, and some have become very close friends.

"It's not the way I envisioned leaving the club but we will cross paths again I'm sure.

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"To the Amber Army, you've welcomed me in since day one and the sense of community within the club and the city has been something I was proud to be part of.

"No longer a player but will always be a member of the Amber Army!"

Defender Jay Foulston found chances hard to come by and was on loan at Chippenham last season.

"Absolutely gutted that my time at Newport has come to an end but would like to thank everyone from the academy right the way through to the first team for everything they have done," said the 19-year-old.

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"The last five years have been an absolute pleasure and I would like to thank all the staff, players and fans for the support they gave me while at Newport and wish the club all the very best in the future."

The story was similar for 20-year-old forward Momodou Touray, who had a one in three strike rate for Barry in the Cymru Premier.

"My time at Newport County has now unfortunately come to an end," he said.

"I just want to first of all thank all the players, staff and the managers that's been involved in the last four years for helping me in the academy, to getting my first professional contract and also making my League Two debut.

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"I've learned a lot and had some unbelievable memories."

Striker Dom Poleon, who joined last September, was also released after struggling to make an impact and moving on loan to Dover.