A HOST of experienced players will depart Colchester United this summer after the club announced their retained list.

A total of 15 first team and under-21 players have been released, including long-serving defender Tom Eastman, club captain Tommy Smith and vastly-experienced centre-back Luke Chambers, who was the U's leading appearance maker, this season.

Seasoned midfielder Cole Skuse, who has retired from professional football to take over at Bury Town.


Popular striker Freddie Sears will also depart the JobServe Community Stadium this summer along with playmaker Alan Judge, who is currently recovering from a serious knee injury.

Fellow first-team players Ryan Clampin and Luke Hannant - who have spent the second half of the season out on loan at Dundee - along with goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara and midfielder Emyr Huws, are also leaving the U's.


In addition, Colchester have announced that youngsters Lordon Akolbire, Billy Cracknell, Harvey Sayer, Lion Bello and Benedict Bioletti will also depart.

Colchester sporting director Dmitri Halajko told the U's website: “I’d like to thank all the players that will be leaving us for their hard work and professionalism in their time here at Colchester United. 

"We wish all these players the best of luck in the next part of their football journeys. 

“Special mentions should go to Tom Eastman.


“Tom has been a magnificent servant to the club over the past twelve years and is firmly in the top ten of the club’s all-time highest appearance makers. 

"The term ‘club legend’ is sometimes overused in football but I certainly see Tom in that light for the service he has given to the club.  

“Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers have been captains for the club on and off the pitch and the leadership they have given the team during their time at the club deserves recognition alone with their footballing performances.


"Freddie Sears has also made a big contribution with Colchester United over the years scoring over fifty times for the club which is a great return.

“Ryan has been with the U’s since he was a young boy, and risen through the whole Academy, through the U21s/U23s all the way into the first team which is a great achievement.

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"We will be keeping a close eye on his development and hope he continues to grow his career.

“Although Cole and Luke have only been with us two years, they have shown a fantastic level of performance and professionalism on and off the pitch.


"We wish Cole the best of luck as he takes on his first managerial role at Bury Town after a long and illustrious playing career.

“Kieran has made some match winning saves this season and has always worked hard on the training pitch.

“Alan Judge is very unfortunate as his bad injury has kept him out of the second half of the season.

"However, he is working very hard with our medical team to get back playing.  We will still be seeing plenty of him at the club while we help him back to full fitness.


“I’m sure every supporter of Colchester United will wish all the players leaving us the very best of luck and success in their future football careers.”

Colchester have confirmed that they have taken up options on talented young duo Noah Chilvers and Ossama Ashley, who will remain contracted at the club for next season.

The U's will also retained and exercise club options on Al-Amin Kazeem, Marley Marshall Miranda, Chay Cooper, Jayden Fevrier, Harry Beadle, Kaan Bennett and Bradley Ihionvien.


Colchester's remaining players under contract are Sam Hornby, Will Greenidge, Tom Dallison, Fiacre Kelleher, Arthur Read, Alex Newby, Matt Jay, Gene Kennedy, Junior Tchamadeu, John Akinde, Tom Hopper, Connor Hall, Donell Thomas, Jake Hutchinson, Samson Tovide, Ryan Lowe, Frankie Terry, Ted Collins and Oscar Thorn.

Kwesi Appiah, Tom Smith and Connor Wood have returned to their respective parent clubs, following the completion of their loans at the U's.