Manager Keith Hill says Ashley Eastham and Oliver Lancashire go with his best wishes.
The pair turned down new contracts at Dale on Friday, opting for moves to Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town, respectively, as Hill explains: “I believe I offered fair League 1 wages to both of them.
“I’ve heard all the quotes from both players since they joined Fleetwood and Shrewsbury but it comes down to one line and that’s the bottom line, and rightly so. It comes down to finance, it comes down to cash and looking after your family.
“Cash is king in everybody’s world and Oliver Lancashire and Ashley Eastham have signed for far, far better substantial deals than we could ever offer in a month of Sunday’s. And that shows the enormity of our task when you consider that Shrewsbury finished with 50 points, conceding almost 80 league goals, while Fleetwood narrowly missed relegation on the final day of the season.
“They’re right to accept that offer, because as much as they wanted to stay at the club, the money that they’ve been offered will support their families. You only get a small window of opportunity to earn as much money as you possible can in any walk of life, so, for me, they’ve made the right choice financially.
“And I can’t go against that because they’ve phoned me, they’ve text me and they’ve thanked me for everything they’ve done and that we’ve done that put them in this position where they’re earning the type of money that they’re doing at their respective clubs.”
With the defensive duo departing, Hill is "excited" about recruiting new additions.
“It doesn’t scare me,” said Hill.
“One position we do really have to improve on is conceding goals. We’ve been scoring more than enough goals per game over the last three seasons and it’s important that we make less mistakes, both individually and collectively as a unit. Whether that’s down to the goalkeeper, the back four, the strikers defending properly, or the midfielders tracking runners, it’s important that we get a combination of everything.
"But it doesn’t scare me, it just fills me with excitement of working with new players and trying to repeat the successes that we’ve had with players individually, and with the team collectively, during the time that I’ve been at the football club.
“So I’ve got no fear of recruiting central defenders to work with me, the staff and the players that we’ve got to improve us.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.