‘I’LL try and bring as much as I can to the team - I always try my hardest’.

That was one of the first things Mikael Mandron said in an interview upon joining Colchester United two years ago.

The Frenchman has certainly been true to his word.

Indeed, if awards were given out for hard work and commitment to the cause, Mandron would lead the way.

Colchester have had plenty of model professionals on their books over the years.

But few surely could match the Frenchman for his unrelenting dedication, enthusiasm and most strikingly, positive mental attitude.

The news that Mandron will not be offered a new contract by the U’s when his current deal expires later this summer has been met with sadness by both club and fans, for the Frenchman is undoubtedly one of football’s good guys.

Even boss John McGreal admitted it was a tough decision to allow Mandron to leave.

Ever since arriving from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2017, his beaming smile has lit up Florence Park on a daily basis where by all accounts, he was first on and last off the training pitch.

His upbeat outlook is infectious – even when things have not necessarily gone his way.

Mandron was a near ever-present in McGreal’s starting line-up in his first year at Colchester, making nearly 50 league and cup appearances and scoring ten goals.

But he found starting opportunities more limited this season and spent much of the campaign on the bench, with the likes of Luke Norris and Frank Nouble preferred in attack.

It has not been an easy few months for Mandron – but his cheerful demeanour has always remained.

Indeed, when asked for a pre-match interview prior to the U’s home clash with Tranmere Rovers in March, he spoke eloquently and enthusiastically and even a brief chat with Mandron leaves you feeling upbeat.

Mandron’s time at Colchester has now come to an end but he is unlikely to be short of suitors, with the likes of MK Dons and Mansfield Town already linked with the former Sunderland striker’s services.

Wherever the striker’s next destination may be, one thing is for sure – he will give everything to be a success there every single day.

So thank you for Mika for the last two years – it’s been a pleasure.