Vernon going nowhere

SCOTT Vernon still has a year left on his contract and so plans to remain a Colchester United player for next season.

Carl Marston

SCOTT Vernon still has a year left on his contract and so plans to remain a Colchester United player for next season.

U's boss Paul Lambert is keen to make several changes this summer, in terms of players coming and going, but Vernon will only be on his way if another club makes an offer.

The ex-Oldham and Blackpool striker endured a difficult recent campaign at the Community Stadium, as did most of his team-mates. He contributed four goals, but ended up playing on loan at League One relegation strugglers Northampton, where he picked up a thigh injury.

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Vernon returned to Colchester a week early, and recovered in time to start the U's last game of the season, a 2-0 win at Yeovil.

“I'm still under contract at Colchester for next season, and as far as I am concerned, that's my next year all sorted out,” confirmed Vernon.

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“If things change in the mean-time, so be it. But I will be trying to cement my position in the team for next season, when hopefully we can get off to a better start.

“Without such a poor start last season, then we would have made the play-offs.

“Like everyone else, I have had a chat with the manager. That will remain confidential between ourselves, but I'm now doing weights with the rest of the lads, three days a week, because we are still training.

“That's the case for the rest of the month, although I'm being allowed to go on holiday soon, so long as I keep up the weights,” added Vernon.

Manchester-born Vernon, who had an initial loan spell with the U's in 2006, before moving permanently from Blackpool in January, 2008, was surprised to see his loan club Northampton suffer relegation on the final day of the campaign.

“I thought that Northampton would stay up. I scored on my debut as a substitute (4-0 win over Stockport), and it looked as though they would be all right,” continued Vernon.

“But they then had two bad results and I got injured in the second half (against Southend). I suffered a slight pull in my thigh, so I couldn't play in my final week when there were three games.

“That backlog of games didn't help them,” added Vernon, who also scored for the U's in the away wins at Swindon and at Brighton, and in the home games against Northampton and Hartlepool.

The EADT revealed last week that Matt Heath, Chris Coyne and Mark Yeates, who are all still under contract for next season, are expected to stay with the U's, unless there is movement in the transfer market. Keeper Mark Cousins is also close to signing a new deal.

But front-runner Sunday-Akanni Wasiu, who only started five games for the U's, will not be part of Lambert's plans for next season. His one-year contract will not be renewed, while defender John White has also been told that he can look for another club, if he wishes, because his opportunities are likely to be restricted.

Meanwhile, the U's pre-season fixture list is already beginning to take shape, with three more away games confirmed yesterday, at Heybridge Swifts, Histon and Ebbsfleet.

Current pre-season itinerary:

Saturday, July 11: Tiptree United (away)

Tuesday, July 21: Aston Villa (home)

Thursday, July 23 Heybridge Swifts (away)

Saturday, July 25: Ipswich Town (away)

Tuesday, July 28: Histon (away)

Thursday, July 30: Ebbsfleet (away)

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