The summer months are always uncertain ones for players and football clubs.
Whether you’re out of contract, with a long-term deal, out of favour or star man, no one’s future is ever really secure.
You could find yourself sitting pretty at a club with a year to run and, if the manager doesn’t fancy you, you could be out on your ear within weeks.
At Dundee, manager Paul Hartley has some big decisions to make on his current playing squad.
It’s set to be a busy summer for the former Scotland international as he prepares a squad he thinks is capable of survival, the club’s minimum target, in the Premiership next season.
We’ve already seen some high-profile departures from Dens. And in the coming weeks we should expect to see a few more, as well as plenty of arrivals, too.
Here we take a look at the Dark Blues playing staff. Assessed are those already given the bullet, those most likely to stop on, and those whose future is up in the air.
Christian Nade A hero in the final few weeks but didn’t do enough to convince he was worth a deal. Big, strong and a right handful, Nade could be an asset for another promotion-chasing second tier side. However, goals are what strikers are judged on and, unfortunately, he doesn’t score enough.
Craig Beattie There’s no doubting the ex-Celtic, West Brom and Swansea man’s ability. But he was let go because, in terms of fitness and athleticism, Beattie just didn’t cut the mustard at Dens. Best days are well and truly behind him.
Gavin Rae The skipper signed his third spell at the club off in style with the Championship trophy. Was always the case that if everything went to plan Rae was off Down Under after a season. A difficult campaign on the whole but a rock towards the end.
Others Adam Cummins (end of loan), Carlo Monti, Leighton McIntosh, John Gibson (all released)
Matt Lockwood At 37, he’s just come to the end of the road. Did not feature at all under the new manager. May decide to hang up his boots this summer, although proved last season he’s more than capable of still performing at Championship level.
Steven Doris Given a two-year deal but never pulled his weight for the first 12 months leading to him being shown the exit door. A permanent move, or loan, elsewhere looks likely.
Stephen Hughes In truth, a nightmare of a signing. Played just 45 minutes at first-team level before being sent back where he came from (East Fife). Will probably end up back at that level again this summer.
Others Jamie Reid, Dan Twardzik, Sean Bonnett-Johnson.
HERE TO STAY
Jim McAlister Every time he’s pulled on a shirt he’s never let Dundee down. One of the Dark Blues most consistent performers over the last two years and one of the fittest players around. His versatility could be key for Dundee next season.
Kyle Letheren As solid as they come, the Welshman is becoming a real fans favourite. Expect him to improve further under the guidance of Paul Hartley and rise to the challenge of top-flight football.
Craig Wighton Talents like his are rare, especially north of the border. Expect him to be treated with kid gloves. May be sent out on loan to hone his talent at a lower level. One for the long-term future.
Others Phil Roberts, Greg Stewart, Cammy Kerr, Willie Dyer, Gary Irvine, Martin Boyle, Iain Davidson.
UP IN THE AIR?
Peter MacDonald Dundee’s top scorer but, at 33, can he cut it at top level again? One for the boss to work out. Suggestions he will stick around.
Declan Gallagher A running story has been the question marks over whether he’s set to sign a new deal. Nothing signed and he’s out of contract as of June 9.
Others Ryan Conroy, Nicky Riley, Kyle Benedictus, Kevin McBride.