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News: Mark Phillips and Marc Laird to leave Southend United

23 May 2014

Experienced defender Mark Phillips and midfielder Marc Laird have left Roots Hall

Experienced defender Mark Phillips will leave Southend United following the expiration of his contract at Roots Hall.

Phillips has been an influential member of the squad for four season, have moved to the club in 2010 from Brentford.

The 32-year-old defender made just five appearances during his first year with the club, but excelled during the 2011-12 season, being named as the club’s Player of the Year as Blues just missed out on automatic promotion.

During the 2012-13 season he made 30 appearances, and no-one at the club will ever forget his efforts during the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second-leg tie against Leyton Orient.

Phillips played a big role under Phil Brown until towards the end of the campaign, when he was allowed to join Conference side Aldershot Town on loan.

He helped the Shots to Conference survival during his short time with them.

Midfielder Marc Laird has also been allowed to move on this summer, having joined the club initially on loan during the 2012-13 season.

His impressive performances earned him a permanent deal at Roots Hall, and he began the season as Phil Brown’s first-choice midfielder.

But an injury in August meant he was ruled out for four months of the season, and he was unable to gain a permanent place back in the side.

Phil Brown said about Mark and Marc: “They have both been excellent servants to this football club, and I can’t thank them enough for their efforts during my time at Roots Hall.

“Mark is an experienced defender at this level, but I felt it was now the right time for him to move on, while Marc was a bit unlucky with his injury this season.

“We had a wealth of talent in the central midfield role and he was unable to gain a permanent spot back because of the performances of others.

“He was a real character around the club, and both players will be missed.”

Bedsente Gomis has also been released by the club, while youngsters Ryan Auger and Luke Chambers are both now free agents, but have been invited back by Brown for pre-season.

The club would like to thank all five players for their efforts during their time at Roots Hall.

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