Updated: Defender Jonathan Tiffoney among 18 players leaving Stenhousemuir as part of squad rejig
Stenhousemuir defender Jonathan Tiffoney, currently under investigation over alleged abuse at a match against Albion Rovers last month, is one of 18 players departing the Warriors as part of a wholesale squad rejig.
Tiffoney, 30, is among a dozen players heading for the exit at Ochilview after their current contracts expire.
The others are Creag Little, Chris McQueen, Ryan Blair, Thomas Halleran, Botti Biabi, Greig Spence, Mark McGuigan, Ryan Watters, Chris Kane, Tommy Muir and Martin Shiels.
That clearout is being carried out by new manager Stephen Swift to make way for new signings ahead of the next League Two season.
Glasgow-born Tiffoney, currently on a leave of absence, was signed from Brechin City in November 2019. His previous clubs include Alloa Athletic and Ayr United.
Fellow defender Little, 28, only arrived in July last year from Queen’s Park, having previously been at Largs Thistle and Greenock Morton, his home-town club. He’s now joined Elgin City on a two-year contract.
Former Celtic reserve McQueen, 19, also a defender, arrived at Ochilview last October.
Midfielder Blair, 25, signed for Stenny in November 2019. The Glaswegian’s previous clubs include Falkirk from 2014 to 2016 and on loan in 2018.
Halleran, 21, also a midfielder, has been a Warrior since July 2017 after graduating from the Forth Valley Football Academy.
London-born striker Biabi, 25, joined Stenny in November 2019 after spells at teams including Ebbsfleet United, Swansea City and Falkirk.
Fellow striker Spence arrived in January last year but was loaned out to East Fife last month. Among the Dunfermline-born 28-year-old’s former clubs are Alloa Athletic, Arbroath, Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers.
Fans’ favourite McGuigan, 32, joined up from Stranraer in May 2017. Also on the East Kilbride-born forward’s CV are stints with Albion Rovers and Partick Thistle.
Rutherglen-born fellow forward Watters, 23, arrived in January 2019 from Albion Rovers, having previously been a youth player with St Mirren and Motherwell.
Defensive midfielder Kane has been at Ochilview since last July. The Edinburgh-born 27-year-old had previously played for the likes of Edinburgh City, East Fife, Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline Athletic.
Striker Muir, 24, also arrived last July after previously turning out for Annan Athletic and Dalbeattie Star.
Glaswegian midfielder Shiels, 26, signed up in September from North Lanarkshire’s Gartcairn Juniors, having previously been with Cumbernauld United.
Six loan players are also heading back to their parent clubs now their contracts are up – Callum Yeats, Paddy Martin, Jack Brydon, Jayden Fairley, Thomas Collins and Alan Docherty.
Yeats, 19, and Martin, 21, return to Hibernian’s reserves, as do 17-year-olds Brydon and Fairley. Collins, 24, is back at East Fife; and Docherty, also 24, returns to Camelon Juniors.
The club have issued an update on their website, https://www.stenhousemuirfc.com/, explaining that turnover of players, saying: “With the dust having well and truly settled on last season, the attention of everyone at the club is now set fully on preparing for next season’s campaign.
“Like in any close season, players will move on to make way for new additions. This summer will be no different as Stephen Swift looks to put his mark on the team.
“As this rebuild takes place, we will ensure that all supporters are fully informed of all developments as they happen.
“The manager is also in talks with Callum Erskine, Cameron Graham, Josh Grigor and Paul Brown, while Jack Hodge and Adam McCracken have been invited to pre-season.
“The club would also like to place on record its sincere thanks to all of the players moving on from their service to Stenhousemuir. We wish them all the very best for the future.”
Deals to sign seven new players are said to be close to completion but no names are being revealed yet.
A club spokesperson added: “With such a large turnover of players, it’s not unreasonable for supporters to begin to get exciting about the prospect of a range of new signings in the coming weeks.
“The manager is currently working hard to identify additions to the squad and we will announce player news as soon as we can.
“What can be confirmed at this stage is that we are close to finalising the signings of seven new players, including a former Rangers academy player, a Championship striker and a Championship midfielder.”
Tiffoney was accused of directing a slur at opposition substitute David Cox relating to his mental health, prompting the 32-year-old striker, on the substitutes’ bench at the time, to announce his immediate retirement from football, at Stenny’s home game against North Lanarkshire’s Albion Rovers on Thursday, April 29.
He denies that allegation and has, in turn, accused Cox of making inappropriate comments to him.
Both players’ claims have been referred to the Scottish Football Association for investigation.