Duo departing make room for additions to Dons' squad
Paul Tisdale admitted it was with a heavy heart he chose to let Ouss Cisse and Brandon Thomas-Asante go, but said it opens his horizons to bring in new faces.
Cisse and Thomas-Asante announced their departures on social media over the weekend, with more expected to follow when the club announced their retained list, expected this week.
Manager Tisdale said he was disappointed to see any of the promotion winning squad leave, but said departures are inevitable.
"I'm disappointed to see them go, as I am with any player," he said. "You build a team through the year, the way it thinks, the camaraderie, all the things that goes together to help the team commit and those two have been a part of that. But the reality is I cannot afford to keep everyone, and I want to make signings so I have to make room.
"Ouss has played a lot of games and contributed, Brandon less so, but they have all contributed. I have the onerous task of looking at what we do for next season. Every situation is different. Hardly one player has ended the season but isn't good enough to go into next season's squad.
"But when a manager is looking to make a few signings to create a new dynamic, I can't just accumulate 30, 40 players! Unfortunately, we get to this point and I have to make a decision. We had a lot of players anyway, more than we would have had.
"Brandon is a young player, but we've moved up to League 1 and he has not played a lot this year. For his benefit also as we ll as ours, it's the right time for him to go and play consistent football at first team level. He was not going to get that with us. We have to be realistic and it was the right time for him over the last three years for him to go and move on with his career. In a few years, hopefully we will see doing very well and be proud.
"I've got a lot of midfield players, Ouss is out of contract. I'd have loved to keep him here with the type of individual he is. He has been an example of how to work through difficult times, how to train, how to conduct himself, the positivity. I was really upset when he left, I gave him a big hug and really appreciated the season I had to work with him."