It appears that the charms of the Highlands are not for everyone.
Ross County F.C. manager Derek Adams today announced that four players from last year’s squad will not be returning to the club. Mark Fotheringham, Andre Hainault, Evangelos Oikonomu, and Steffan Wohlfarth have all left the club. Let’s take a quick look at what that means.
Mark Fotheringham: Put in some good performances towards the end of the season, but he only appeared in 14 matches all told and scored no goals. With midfielders Paul Lawson and Iain Vigurs having moved on and Richard Brittain’s situation still up in the air (more on that below) he would have been nice to retain as a depth player, but that’s it. He’s also a 29 year old who has already played for 8 clubs, so it should come as a surprise that he, once again, thinks he can do better elsewhere.
Andre Hainault: Illness and strong play from the other fullbacks limited him to only 8 matches with County after he signed for County, but he looked very good in those and County would have loved to have him back. Chances are, however, that his good showings probably opened up some new- higher paying- opportunities for him either back in MLS or elsewhere.
Steffan Wohlfarth: The big German striker scored three times in the equivalent of 8 matches for County and looked to have a future with the club, but shortly after his arrival at the club the rumors began having a girlfriend based on the continent didn’t augur well for staying in Dingwall. “Wolfie” was well-liked by the County supporters and probably could have developed into a 12-15 goal scorer for the club, but ultimately he is also probably fairly easily replace.
Evangelos Oikonomu: This is the one that hurts. An unknown quantity when he arrived from Greece Okonomu quickly showed that he was a tough tackler, a good passer of the ball, and that he had some ability with the ball at his feet as well. In a sense one could make a pretty good argument that he played his way right out of Dingwall. One of County’s best players last season his departure significantly weakens the back line.
Though the saga is probably far from over, manager Derek Adams has confirmed that captain Richard Brittain will report to preseason with Ross County- not St. Johnstone. Whether he ever suits up for the club in 2013-2014 and when remains to be seen.