Vernon to be released

Striker Scott Vernon will not be offered a new contract.

SCOTT Vernon will be released by Colchester United this summer.

The 26-year-old striker’s deal is due to run out later this month and U’s boss Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed that he won’t be offered a new one.

“Scott is a terrific guy, but he won’t be offered another contract,” said Boothroyd.

“He won’t have a problem finding another club though, not just because of the player he is, but also because he’s a brilliant character. I genuinely wish him well.”

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Meanwhile, Boothroyd confirmed that he will sit down with out-of-contract pair David Prutton and Phil Ifil over the coming days to discuss their futures at the club. Defender Matt Lockwood has already been told he will be released.

Vernon was signed by Geraint Williams for Blackpool in January 2008 and he went on to score nine goals in the second half of that campaign as the U’s were relegated from the Championship.

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The goals dried up for Vernon last season, the striker scoring just four times in 39 appearances, and he was duly loaned out to League One rivals Northampton Town by manager Paul Lambert at the end of the 2008/9 campaign.

The Manchester-born forward enjoyed something of a revival at the club at the start of this season after scoring a hatful of goals in pre-season. Vernon started the opening four league games of the season, scoring three goals.

However, after Lambert left for Norwich and was replaced by Aidy Boothroyd, Vernon quickly found himself out of favour.

He was loaned out to fellow League One side Gillingham last October, but lasted just 43 minutes into his debut before injuring his ankle and returning to Colchester.

Following his return to fitness, Vernon – along with team mate Pat Baldwin – was loaned to Essex rivals Southend United at the end of January. There he has scored five goals in 17 appearances as The Shrimpers were relegated.

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