COLCHESTER United say they will decide whether or not any of their best players leave the club, this summer.

The U’s could face a battle to keep hold of some of their most talented home-grown youngsters, with the likes of Sammie Szmodics, Frankie Kent and Kane Vincent-Young all catching the eye this season.

Szmodics, who finished as Colchester’s top scorer this season, has been linked with a Championship move while Kent has also attracted admirers after finishing as the club’s Player of the Year.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has said previously that supporters should not be disappointed when some of their academy youngsters are sold to bigger clubs.

The U’s are built a reputation for giving players a pathway from their youth set-up and say the sale of some of the best assets will enhance their chances of attracting more talented youngsters.

U’s head coach John McGreal said: “Some of the individual performances are going to bring attention.

“We’re no different to other clubs in our division in that respect, whose players who have moved on to bigger and better things.

“I think it will be an interesting summer, mainly with our own boys.

“They are under contract, so then it will be the club’s decision on what happens with them.”

Colchester have regularly fielded at least six academy players in their starting line-up, this season.

The U’s have also handed senior debuts to a number of youngsters from their youth set-up, including Ollie Kensdale, Ryan Clampin and Noah Chilvers – and McGreal is keen to see them kick on further, next season.

He said: “I’ve been here from more or less day one with (director of football) Tony Humes starting off the academy and we have our DNA and philosophy and we know we have to produce kids to go through.

“With the likes of Szmodics, Kent, (Tom) Lapslie and (Courtney) Senior just to name a few, some of them have been exceptional this season and we’re looking for that next batch.

“I think six of our academy players have been playing week in, week out and now it’s about the next batch of players we see on the bench like Ollie Kensdale, Noah Chilvers and Ryan Clampin, just to name but a few.

“They’ve been in and around training since Christmas time if not before that and we’ll always looking for that next batch of under-23s coming through – that’s what we always try and do at the football club.”