Tom Bender and Bradley Hamilton have been told they can leave Colchester United in January.

The young defensive duo, who are currently on loan at Blue Square Bet South side Chelmsford City, have been informed by U's boss Joe Dunne that they are surplus to requirements at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Dunne said: "Bradley and Tom aren't going to get into my first team and they're at an age now where they need to start making careers for themselves.

"Their honesty, commitment and hard work at our club has been great and we wish both of them well."

For more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, see Friday's Gazette.