Beevers and Powell to be released

LEE Beevers and Conor Powell have become the fifth and sixth players to be informed by manager John Ward that they will be released by Colchester United when their contracts expire this summer.

The defensive duo were informed of the decision by Ward yesterday as he met each of his squad individually for a series of season debrief meetings.

They will join Simon Hackney, Sam Corcoran, Morten Knudsen and Medy Elito in being released this summer as Ward looks to cut the wage bill and mould his own squad ahead of his second season in charge.

Signed by Paul Lambert from Lincoln City, Beevers – a former Ipswich Town trainee who represented Wales at Under-21 level – has endured a frustrating two seasons at the U’s.

The 27-year-old made his debut in the 7-1 win at Norwich on the opening day of the 2009/10 season and played four more times that month, but then failed to feature again that campaign thanks to a mixture of long-term shoulder and knee injuries.

After finally putting his injury problems behind him this season – save for a freak accident when he broke a bone in his hand trapping it in his child’s push chair – his versatility has proved a useful option for boss John Ward.

However, despite making 21 appearances in positions ranging from full-back, to centre-back to holding midfielder, Ward has decided not to renew his contract.

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Powell will leave the club having made only two appearances in six months following his free transfer switch from Irish side Bohemians in January.

The 23-year-old former Ireland U21 international was signed with a view to replacing departing left-back Marc Tierney but has been severely restricted by the surprise form of Ben Coker in what has been his first season of professional football following the big step up from Suffolk non-league side Bury Town.

Powell played in the 1-1 draws against Brentford and Brighton over Easter but, with teenager Tom Bender also coming through in that position, he has been told he can look for another club.

Key trio Steven Gillespie, David Perkins and Ian Henderson have all been offered new deals, with John White the only out-of-contract player whose situation remains unclear.

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