AARON Barnes is one of a number of under-23 players to be released by Colchester United this afternoon.

Defender Barnes, who joined the U's from Charlton Athletic in January 2018 before continuing his loan at Torquay United until the end of last season, made only one first-team appearance during his time at the JobServe Community Stadium after starting their Checkatrade Trophy game against Southampton under-21s.

He was also an unused substitute for their league games against Notts County and Cheltenham Town in the opening month of the campaign, along with the Carabao Cup defeat at Cheltenham.

Full-back Noah Chesmain, who joined the U's from Millwall last summer, has also been released having failed to make a first-team appearance for the club.

And defender Paul Rooney, who joined Colchester in January, 2018 from Millwall and spent much of this season out on loan at non-league clubs Bromley and Billericay Town, has also been released.

The Irishman made his only Colchester first-team appearance as a substitute in their 2-0 defeat by Southampton under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, last September.

David Agboola, George Brown, Ken Charles, Chris Forino, Arjanit Krasniqi, Eoin McKeown, Decarrey Sheriff, Sam Warde and Will Wright are the other young players to leave the U's at the end of their contracts today, as the League Two club continue to plan for the 2019-20 season.

U's Director of Football Tony Humes told the club's website: "The players have all progressed during the time with us and some of them have been around the first team football environment over the past couple of years.

"However, they now need to take their chance elsewhere to kick on and find themselves regular first team football at a good level and we wish them well in the future."

Colchester are expected to announce their first team retained list in the coming days.