ATHLETIC have announced that Joe Cardle and Nat Wedderburn are the latest players to be heading for the East End exit.

Fans favourite Cardle, 31, and midfielder Wedderburn, 26, won't be with the club when they return for pre-season training on Thursday.

Last night, the Pars released two separate, short statements confirming that both players would be leaving the club.

With manager Allan Johnston on holiday, chairman Ross McArthur said of Cardle: "Joe has been a fantastic servant over two spells at our club.

"Joe has a real affinity and passion for our club, which resonates with our supporters and has made him a real fans favourite.

"His contribution, both on and off the field, has been exemplary. On behalf of everyone at our club, I would like to wish Joe, Lucy and their two lovely girls our sincere best wishes for the future."

On Wedderburn, he added: "We wish to thank Nat for his service over the last couple of seasons. In addition, we would like to wish Nat and his young family a healthy and successful future."

Cardle leaves Dunfermline after three seasons in his second spell with the club.

Initially signed by Jim McIntyre from Airdrie in the summer of 2009, the Blackpool-born winger quickly established himself as a crowd pleaser with his performances on the wing.

In his second season, Cardle was a mainstay of the side that won the First Division title, thanks to a run of six successive wins at the end of the campaign that included a derby win over Raith Rovers that all-but secured the championship.

The Pars, however, struggled in the SPL and were relegated after just a single season in the top flight, but worse followed in March 2013 when the club plunged into administration.

Cardle was one of eight first-team players who was made redundant and moved to Raith Rovers, with whom he won the Challenge Cup.

He then spent a season with Ross County before returning to Athletic in the summer of 2015, going on to help the club lift the League One title with a goal haul of 15.

He featured regularly throughout Dunfermline's return to the Championship but leaves after making 238 appearances, and scoring 54 goals.

Wedderburn signed for Dunfermline in the summer of 2016 after leaving Inverness Caledonian Thistle and made 31 appearances in his first season, in which he scored his only Pars goal in a 1-0 win at Morton.

He played 31 times last season, with his final game coming as a substitute in the first leg of the Premiership play-off quarter-final against Dundee United.