A YEAR has passed since Colchester United released a host of players, following the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Gazette takes a look at where the senior players who departed the JobServe Community Stadium have ended up.



FORMER Colchester United favourite Freddie Sears finished the season as a promotion winner with Braintree Town.

The experienced forward joined the Iron in March and helped them go up to the National League.

The 34-year-old had been playing for Dagenham and Redbridge, having joined the National League side last September.

He had linked up at Victoria Road with former U’s team-mate Tom Eastman, who was also released by Colchester at the end of last season.



GOALKEEPER KIERAN O’Hara found himself up against champions Celtic, on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old was between the sticks for Kilmarnock in their 5-0 defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Scottish Premiership.

O’Hara joined Kilmarnock on a one-year deal, last summer.

His appearances for the Scottish Premiership outfit have been limited to five, this season.

The Republic of Ireland international made a total of 31 league and cup appearances for Colchester, after joining them on a free transfer in August, 2022.



CREATIVE midfielder Alan Judge finished the season playing for Woking in the National League after recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in Colchester United’s defeat at Sutton United in December, 2022.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who made 55 league and cup appearances for the U’s after joining them from Ipswich Town in the summer of 2021, suffered the injury in the first half of the 1-0 reverse at Gander Green Lane.

Judge had been rehabilitating at Florence Park before signing for Woking, for whom he played three times prior to being released, last month.



ALMOST immediately after his departure from Colchester United was announced, experienced midfielder Cole Skuse was named the new manager of Pitching In Isthmian League division north side Bury Town.

The 38-year-old brought the curtain down on his impressive professional playing career after leaving the U’s, where he made 75 league and cup appearances after joining them from Ipswich Town in 2021.

Skuse enjoyed an impressive first season in charge of Bury, leading them to the play-offs where they lost out to Brentwood Town in the semi-finals.



DESPITE being 37 years old when released by Colchester United, many expected Luke Chambers to continue his impressive professional playing career elsewhere.

So it came as something as a surprise when the former Ipswich Town centre-back announced his retirement from playing last August, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious 20-year period in the EFL spanning 871 games.

Chambers was the U's highest appearance maker, in the 2022-23 season.

He won the Tom Finney Award, recognising his outstanding achievements and service to the game, at last month’s EFL Awards.



MIDFIELDER Emyr Huws was released by Colchester United at the end of last season, after his appearances had been limited by injury.

The 30-year-old, who made 19 league and cup appearances for the U’s after joining them in January, 2022, announced his retirement from the professional game last December.

Huws, who won 11 caps for Wales between 2014 and 2017, also played for Manchester City as an academy player and went on to play for the likes of Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town.



Luke Hannant experienced an eventful season at Gateshead in the National League, whom he rejoined last summer after being released by the U’s.

The 30-year-old enjoyed Wembley glory last weekend, helping his side lift the FA Trophy after being Solihull Moors on penalties, after the game had finished 2-2 after extra-time.

Gateshead also reached the National League play-offs but were unable to participate, after failing to meet the entry criteria for membership of the EFL.

Hannant had spent the second half of last season on loan at Scottish Championship club Dundee, helping them win promotion to the top flight.

The former Port Vale player played 72 times for the U’s, during his two-year spell at the JobServe Community Stadium.



COLCHESTER-BORN defender Tom Eastman was high up the list of the U’s all-time appearance makers when he was released by the club, at the end of last season.

The 32-year-old spent the second half of the 2022-23 campaign on loan at their League Two rivals Harrogate Town, who were keen on signing the former Ipswich Town defender on a permanent basis.

However, Eastman was keen to stay within his Essex roots and joined National League side Dagenham and Redbridge where he made 33 appearances, scoring four times and landed the club’s Player of the Year award, after helping them secure a 15th-place finish in the National League.



AFTER leaving Colchester, experienced defender Tommy Smith linked up with their League Two rivals MK Dons.

The 34-year-old made 12 appearances for the Dons in the first half of this season and played against the U’s in his side’s 3-2 victory at the JobServe Community Stadium, last August.

However, the New Zealand international left Stadium MK in February and joined Australian A League side, Macarthur FC where he has played eight times, to date.

Smith made nearly 100 appearances for Colchester, in his three-year spell with the club.



RYAN Clampin is now looking for a new club, after being released by National League side Eastleigh.

The 25-year-old attacking left-back played 17 games for the Hampshire side.

Clampin linked up with Eastleigh last June, bringing the curtain down on his 16-year association with Colchester.

He spent the second half of last season on loan at Scottish Championship side Dundee, before being released by the U’s at the end of last season.