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Apr 17, 2013

A-League's Heart cut Fred in clean-out

Melbourne Heart have cut captain Fred as part of a widespread player clean-out after their disappointing A-League season.

They've also pounced on Adelaide winger Iain Ramsay, announcing his signing on Monday just a day after the Reds' season ended with Sunday's elimination final loss to Brisbane.

Along with Fred, fellow veterans Simon Colosimo, Matt Thompson and Clint Bolton will not have their contracts renewed after the Heart lost their last five games to finish second-bottom.

Mid-season signings Jamie Coyne, Marcel Meeuwis and Cameron Edwards have also been released.

But the Heart are keeping faith with their younger squad members.

Mate Dugandzic, Jonatan Germano, Nick Kalmar and Sam Mitchinson have all signed new contracts for next season.

Fred, who starred for Melbourne Victory in their 2007 championship, has regularly battled injury during his two seasons with the Heart and consequently struggled to make an impact in the just-completed campaign.

Coach John Aloisi said he had found it difficult to cut players who helped establish the Heart in the A-League.

"I was a foundation player of the club and I know first-hand how hard Simon, Matt and Clint worked to bring the club to life with their performances and their work off the field," he said.

"Fred has also been a great captain for the past two seasons and pushed himself to the limit every training session and every match."

But he said with Ramsay adding to a talented group of youngsters, there was an exciting future.

"He is hungry to succeed and will really add an important dimension and depth down the flanks, which we probably lost when Aziz (Behich) and Michael (Marrone) left," Aloisi said.

The Heart are hopeful of re-signing experienced midfielder Richard Garcia, who seems a likely captaincy candidate if he stays on.

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