JOE Howe has been released by Welling United as manager Andy Ford continues assembling his squad for the forthcoming campaign.

The midfielder follows in the footsteps of Chris Moore and Robin Trott to head for the Park View Road exit door with Ford admitting he has to be ruthless in the best interests of the club.

He explained: "Joe left after Saturday because I had to be honest with him and tell him I couldn't offer regular first team football this season.

"It was a very hard decision to make because the player has been a great servant for Welling United, but you have to be thick skinned as a manager and take tough choices.

"I didn't want to muck Joe about because he deserves to know where he stands."

Assistant manager Jimmy Dack said Welling had set a deadline of last Thursday to sign their top targets, but Ford added it wasn't a date set in stone and one of the mystery duo is poised to sign tomorrow.

"I still have a few options with my budget and my plan is to confirm a deal with one new player on Tuesday," he added.

Time is running out for Sonny Cobbs after the player returned to Park View Road after trials with higher league sides for Thursday's 3-0 pre-season win at Thamesmead.

However, no sooner had he returned than Cobbs was on his way to Salisbury in another bid to impress a Conference outfit.

Cobbs played for the Wiltshire side in a pre-season game on Saturday, but Ford is yet to hear if a permanent move is on the cards.

He said: "It has been backwards and forwards with Sonny all summer, but he is still someone I would like to have at the club.

"I offered him a deal and he went out on trial trying to get himself a higher league club.

"His dad phoned me to let me know he wanted to come back and Sonny trained with us and played in the Thamesmead game.

"Then he got a call from his agent letting him know Salisbury wanted to take a look at him and he played for them at the weekend.

"I'm still waiting to hear back but my budget has limits and there is only so long I can hold on for."

Two players who will definitely be involved next season are utility signing Jack Parkinson and defender Graeme Andrews after Ford swooped for the duo yesterday.

The manager explained: "I got wind of Jack after a few people mentioned his name to me, so I took a look at him for myself.

"He is a bit of a utility player who can play right back, centre back and centre midfield.

"At 6ft 3ins and with a long throw, there are a few assets there we can tap into and he is young as well."

Ford added: "Graeme has come in from Dover reserves, where he didn't really get a look in last year, and comes from my home village.

"He came here for pre-season and has done very well.

"We have four centre backs at Welling now and this was the main reason I let go of Trott and Moore because this would have made it six.

"They were both on long contracts so I took the option to go for younger players.

"Some may say it is a bit of a gamble to go with a young squad, but it is one I'm prepared to take."