Matt Briggs is the main casualty as Colchester United publish their retained list

Matt Briggs, heading towards goal during the U's final day 2-0 home win over Yeovil, has been releas

Matt Briggs, heading towards goal during the U's final day 2-0 home win over Yeovil, has been released by the Essex club. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Matt Briggs could be considered a little unlucky to be released by Colchester United, after the Essex club’s retained list was published yesterday.

Left-sided specialist Briggs had struggled with injuries (hip and back) and personal problems during the first half of last season, but the 25-year-old did return to the fray from February onwards.

His opportunities were limited by the cracking form of Brennan Dickenson down the left flank – Dickenson, named the U’s player-of-the-year, scored 12 goals and provided seven assists during a wonderful first season with the U’s, mainly from a left wing-back role.

But Dickenson is not expected to play again until the turn of the year, after suffering cruciate ligament damage in training during the penultimate week of the season, before the away win at Leyton Orient.

A fit-again Briggs might have expected to be involved from the start of next season, but instead he has been released by the U’s, in addition to fellow defender Lloyd Doyley.

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Whereas Briggs made 65 first-team appearances for the U’s, following his move from Millwall in the summer of 2015, ex-Watford stalwart Doyley made just two starts and three appearances during his stay, totalling 107 minutes.

A calf injury ended his season after 16 minutes of his second start, a 2-1 home win over Barnet on February 11. Ironically, he was replaced by Briggs that day.

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The fact that Briggs has been released suggests that boss John McGreal might have a new signing lined up to fill that role down the left flank.

Five under-23 players have also been released – Dexter Peter, Femi Akinwande, Ben Wyatt. Brendan Ocran and Rhys Williams.

But otherwise, the U’s have offered all their other out-of-contract players new deals.

Leading scorer Chris Porter heads that list, having scored 16 goals during the recent season, his best haul for 10 years.

Other first-team regulars Tom Eastman, Richard Brindley, George Elokobi, Drey Wright and Kane Vincent-Young have been offered new contracts, as has back-up keeper Dean Brill, full-backs Lewis Kinsella and Kane Vincent-Young, and midfielders Charley Edge and Diaz Wright.

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