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All Seven Out-of-Contract Senior Players Released
Monday, 20th May 2019 11:14

Grant Ward, Dean Gerken, Jonas Knudsen, Jordan Spence, James Collins, Tom Adeyemi and Simon Dawkins have all been released by the Blues.

Town confirmed their retained list this morning with all seven of the out-of-contract senior players set to move on.

The club had options to keep Ward, Gerken, Adeyemi, Spence and Dawkins but, despite having held talks with a number of those players, decided not to take them up.

Gerken, 33, joined Town on a free transfer after a trial having left Bristol City in the summer of 2013.

The Rochford-born keeper went on to make 113 starts for the Blues, including the recent defeats to Swansea and Sheffield United.

We understand Gerken had made it clear to Town that he was keen to look for another club where he was more likely to start regularly having been a sub for much of his time with the Blues. His former club Colchester are believed to be interested.

Gerken’s exit means the Blues will be looking for another keeper this summer with Gillingham’s out-of-contract Czech glovesman Tomas Holy in talks, while we understand QPR’s Matt Ingram - who has a year left on his deal at Loftus Road but is set to move on this summer - and Exeter’s Christy Pym have also been spoken to regarding a move to Town.

Spence, 28, joined the club in January 2018 having been on trial earlier in the season following his departure from the MK Dons after their relegation the previous summer.

The former West Ham trainee and ex-England U21 international made 69 starts and seven sub appearances, scoring four goals.

Knudsen, 26, move to the Blues from hometown club Esbjerg fB in July 2015 for a fee of £300,000.

The Danish international went on to make 153 starts and two sub appearances for the Blues, scoring four times, two against Norwich.

He also appeared at last summer’s World Cup with Denmark, making his only appearance in their round of 16 defeat to eventual finalists Croatia. In January he told the club he was keen to move on but no one came in for him. We understand Knudsen is still to find a new side despite links with clubs in Denmark and Germany.

Ward, 24, signed from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee understood to be £500,000 in the summer of 2016 and made a dramatic impact when he scored a debut hat-trick which included a goal with his first touch for the Blues.

The Londoner made 75 starts and 23 sub appearances for the Blues, scoring eight goals. His 2019/20 was cut short when he suffered an ACL injury at QPR on Boxing Day. Town are obliged to get injured players fit before they depart the club.

Adeyemi, 27, missed most of last season with a hamstring problem and then all of this season after picking up an achilles injury which required surgery in pre-season.

The former Norwich youngster only made a total of four starts and one sub appearance for the Blues.

Collins and Dawkins joined Town on short-term deals in January. Former West Ham man Collins, 35, impressed in his six starts for the Blues but was unavailable for much of his time at Portman Road due to injury.

Ex-San Jose Earthquakes and Derby County winger Dawkins, 31, made little impression in his months at the club, making just two sub appearances.

As previously reported, youngsters Conor McKendry, Chris Smith and Ryley Scott, who had a trial with Colchester in March, are also moving on.

We understand the club has taken up the option for a further year on defender Pat Webber, 20, despite the former Worthing youngster having been allowed to go out on trial at Wigan and Millwall in January with both clubs having shown interest in signing him.

Photo: TWTD

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JackSted added 11:19 - May 20
Honestly what was the point in signing Dawkins? Hahahahahahahahahaha

BaddowBlue1 added 11:19 - May 20
No shocks here for me and fully support Gerks wanting to play rather than bench warm at his age. Good luck to all of them finding new clubs.

BlueBlood90 added 11:21 - May 20
Quite surprised that we released them all. I certainly would've given Grant Ward and James Collins the chance to get fit on some sort of pay as you play deal.

afcfee added 11:22 - May 20
Slightly harsh on Ward would of hoped we would of kept him till fit and had a look. Shame about Colins as was unit when fit. Please come in a bid for Skuse now, he is just too good to play in league one I can't bare to see him have to do it.

DebsyAngel added 11:24 - May 20
Bit surprised with Gerkin and Ward, but not about the others. Good luck to them all in their futures.

Northstander_Blue added 11:26 - May 20
No surprises at all

Garv added 11:29 - May 20
Even if Ward was fit I wouldn't particularly want him to sign so with him injured I'm not worried. Never lived up to his billing after that debut.

Spence signed in 2017 surely, not 2018?

Don't blame Gerken for leaving, or us for not offering anything. Collins can't get fit. Ditto Adeyemi.

It was worth having Dawkins for that hilarious debut against Rotherham.

No complaints.


SouperJim added 11:31 - May 20
Not entirely surprised, I guess we perhaps offered Ward and possibly Adeyemi reduced terms? Anyway, I don't think we'll particularly miss any of them, would be nice to have James Collins in the dressing room still but none of them have done much for us on the grass for some time.

Brave decision by Gerks, I wonder where Knudsen will end up. Given he's been available for 5 months now, clubs don't appear to be queuing out the door for him. Be careful what you wish for Jonas! How ironic!

meekreech added 11:32 - May 20
How have they not released Edwards, Nolan, nsiala, Jackson, Harrison, donacien beats me! I'm not sure if this bunch are worth keeping as they have been, so far, unable to provide what is required to survive in any league!

parkinshair added 11:33 - May 20
Can't say I'm sorry. Gerkin had ample opportunity to cement a place between the sticks last season and failed, Adeyemi is a liability with his injury record, Dawkins was a cheap punt that failed to deliver, Colins is way past his prime and Ward who is no doubt one of the higher earners is set to be in dock for quite a while.

rugbytomc added 11:33 - May 20
Regarding people's comment's on Ward - no one will sign him whilst he's injured, so there's a possibility that when fit, he may decide he'd like to stay and depending on other offers to him, may re-enter negotiations. But like others, i'm not too bothered. Far too inconsistent and would only want him if he dropped to league 1 wages

warktheline added 11:35 - May 20
Release Chambers and Skuse and then eventually the club might be able to move on! As for the owner, that’s a completely different matter! Start pressing 🙄😂

BrandestonBlue added 11:35 - May 20
In light of the reported £9m reduction in income anyone hazard a guess at how much these departures will take off the wage bill?

Suffolkboy added 11:37 - May 20
Much as expected and no real surprises here: we await patiently news of incomers to fill the readily identifiable gaps/ needs ,and the quality and character will be closely examined by one and all ,no doubt !It’ll be interesting,too, to discover who may be transferred as there remain candidates for exit !

Toperz added 11:39 - May 20
I think the only person disappointed will be the physio, most of them are injury prone

ThaiBlue added 11:43 - May 20
Why did we keep huws?

PortmanTerrorist added 11:45 - May 20
I am a little surprised by Adeyemi, but only because of how PL speaks of him. Conversely Huws has been criticised for not pushing himself to play through a bit of pain. No question Huws is the better player IF FIT, and is probably the better role model for the younger midfielders. Other than that it is what it is and let's hope our youth push out the lot of the remainers next season.

naa added 11:48 - May 20
meekreech: you can't release players who are under contract. We could put them on the transfer list, but no-one seems to care too much about that kind of stuff these days anyway.

As for who you think should be OK, I disagree with several.

Edwards oftern offered attacking threat, obviously has skill and put good balls into the box on occasion (just a shame with one up front, there wasn't anyone there).
Nolan improved as the season progressed and has a good ability to ghost into the box and score - vital from our midfield.
Harrison didn't do much, but didn't get much chance either. He has played at this level before so could be worth keeping.
Jackson has a lot to prove this level might be better for him.
Donacien actually looked alright to me. He is certainly better than Spence and I think we harshly treated by Lambert. Worth keeping as don't have any other backup for Emmanuel and we don't have the money to buy loads of players so best to only get the essentials.

blues1 added 11:52 - May 20
Thai blue. You cant release players who are under contract. Huws still has 2 years left on his contract.

NoCanariesAllowed added 11:53 - May 20
Best of luck to Gerks. Could've moved on some time ago given how much Bart had dominated the No 1 position, but he was always ready when called upon and got more action this season than he'd seen for quite some time.

Good luck to Ward too - that debut against Barnsley will live with me for a long time. A shame the Adeyemi move ended up such a flop but we have to move on from this perpetual list of players that aren't fit enough to feature.

I know Jonas has had his criticism - some of which has been warranted - but I think he was put in the line of fire by the brilliance of his positional predecessors. The goals against Norwich were much appreciated, as was the passion he often showed in celebrating (seem to remember he ended up in the crowd after our last minute equaliser at Barnsley a couple of years back?)

Not much to say on Dawkins as we saw nothing of him. Spence has been very up and down but did provide some memorable moments (Millwall away sticks in mind, and I enjoyed his late equaliser at Hull back in the autumn a couple of years ago).

Ipswichbusiness added 11:53 - May 20
I am surprised that they let Ward go, maybe his injury is worse than we thought.

However, another interpretation is that they are determined to send a message to players that you have to be fit to play for Town. Or it could just be that we are really desperate to cut costs.

TractorRoyNo1 added 11:55 - May 20
Sentimental & silly! I would have cleated out even more of the FAILURES, time to move on, play OUR boys.

Gforce added 11:55 - May 20
I wonder what Will happen with some of Hursts poorer signings,
ie Donacien,Roberts,Jackson etc will they be put on the transfer list ?
Also 1 or 2 of the players out on loan may have to go,as in my opinion
not good enough.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 12:05 - May 20
Will we find out if any of the squad will be transfer listed?

busterjames1 added 12:23 - May 20
I am happy with that clear out ,Still think Hursts buys will come good or be sold on.Looks like we are going to have a mega keeper and striker if the deals come through.Excited for next season now.

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