As expected Arsenal Ladies have released Emma Byrne and Rachel Yankey at the end of their contracts.

Emma Byrne joined the Arsenal Ladies in 2000 and served the club for 16 years and has been an integral part of the club success throughout all those years.

Rachel Yankey joined in 1996, left the club in 2000 and then came back in 2005. She was loaned to Notts County at the beginning of the 2016 season and came back mid-season but was never named on the matchday team-sheet.

Both players have been instrumental on and off the pitch in the club’s success and leave with many winners medals. They have definitely achieved legendary status at Arsenal Ladies and it is a great pity that they did not get the send-off they deserved at the end of last season.

With them also leaves so much dressing room experience and we can only hope that one of the remaining senior players will provide some guidance off the pitch to the youngsters.

Having Stoney, Byrne and Yankey all gone at the same time is a big blow for the club in that respect.

Thank you Emma and Rachel for those wonderful years with the club.