Former Pompey award-winner handed free transfer

Former Pompey midfielder Gary O'NeilFormer Pompey midfielder Gary O'Neil
Former Pompey midfielder Gary O'Neil
GARY O'NEIL is among the ex-Pompey names to be released by Football League clubs.

The 2005-06 winner of The News/Sports Mail’s Player of the Season has left Bristol City at the end of his two-year deal.

The midfielder, who turned 35 last week, was restricted to six appearances for the Championship side this season following injury.

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O’Neil made 193 appearances and scored 17 goals for Pompey before departing for Middlesbrough in August 2007.

He has since featured for West Ham, QPR and Norwich.

Elsewhere, former loanee Ryan Allsop has been let go by Bournemouth.

The goalkeeper was an emergency signing by Paul Cook to step into Pompey’s play-off semi-final fixtures against Plymouth.

However, he didn’t impress as the Blues were eliminated 3-2 on aggregate in the May 2016 encounters.

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Allsop spent the second half of this season on loan at Lincoln, where he made 20 appearances for the League Two club.

Another familiar name is Caolan Lavery, who has been made available for transfer by Sheffield United.

The striker scored four goals in 13 matches while on loan during Pompey’s 2015-16 campaign, impressing supporters.

However, despite the Blues’ best efforts, Lavery wouldn’t return for a second loan spell after the January.

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He spent the second half of this season on loan at Rotherham, making just one start, yet totalling two goals in 14 games.

Paul Paton, a Pompey triallist in March, has been released by Plymouth following three appearances.

The midfielder arrived at Home Park after the Blues opted against signing him, subsequently spending just 57 minutes on the pitch for the Pilgrims.

At Oxford United, former Blues pair Wes Thomas and Mike Williamson have been let go.

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Thomas scored three goals in seven appearances during a Fratton loan spell under Michael Appleton in the 2012-13 season.

The striker netted 11 times for the U’s this season, finishing as joint-top scorer.

As for Williamson, he joined Pompey for £2m in September 2009 when Paul Hart was boss – but never played a match.

Now aged 34, he played 16 times in an injury-wrecked campaign at the Kassam Stadium.

Finally, two-time Pompey loanee Carl Dickinson has departed Notts County.