Blues boss Kevin Bond has provided an update on the current squad following the announcement of the released list...
“Firstly, I would like to praise all of our players for their efforts in helping to keep the club in League One.
“To a man their application during those last six matches was first class. Now the dust has settled we are facing what is always a challenging time of the year with a potential turnaround of players, largely due to contracts expiring.
“Some difficult decisions need to be made which is never easy, there are a few senior players whose contracts have now expired and will be leaving the club. These are, Michael Turner, Stephen Hendrie, Ted Smith, and Ben Coker.
“Michael Turner has been a terrific servant to Southend United, as he has been to all his clubs throughout his long and distinguished career. A great role model who conducted himself with great professionalism during my time with him. He was key in a number of games during that run in and I would like to thank him and wish him well for the future.
“Stephen Hendrie was unfortunately injured when I arrived and only regained his fitness for the last couple of games, although not directly involved Stephen was a very positive influence around the club being amazingly supportive of the boys who were starting. That support and togetherness was vital to us in the run in. Stephen needs to be at a club where he plays week in week out, and I wish him well wherever that may be.
“Ted Smith has been at Southend for a long period of time and mainly due to circumstances has found himself down the pecking order with three frontline goalkeepers around the first-team squad. He’s an excellent trainer and a great boy, Ted needs to be playing regular first-team football which I have no doubt he will find, I would like to wish him the very best of luck and thank him for his service to the club.
“Ben Coker has decided he doesn’t want to stay at Roots Hall and see pastures new, we wish him the very best of luck.”
Blues have offered John White a new contract for the 2019/20 season and Kevin is keen to keep the experienced defender on board for the next campaign.
“While John’s contract has expired, we would like him to stay at the club. We are currently in talks about extending his time at Southend and we have a meeting with his agent arranged next week. He is a great guy and an exemplary professional, he is consistent and his body belies his age. Watch this space.
“We had three loan players last season and they have now all returned to their parent clubs. Taylor Moore, Sam Hart and Harry Bunn were all major parts of the team during our run in. Sam with his energy and raids down the left wing, Taylor’s athleticism and versatility proved to be a real positive influence for us and lastly Harry Bunn’s guile and goals, his absolutely crucial goals against Fleetwood and Burton were so important to us. I want to thank all three for helping Southend stay in League One and wish them well for the future, you never know our paths may cross again.
“Now the hard work begins!!”