Danny Cowley makes decision at Colchester United as former Portsmouth man released

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A former Pompey player that played under Danny Cowley at two clubs has now been made a free agent.

Former Pompey striker John Akinde is without a club going in to the summer after his contract at his club wasn't renewed.

Colchester United, managed by ex-Blues boss Danny Cowley, told Akinde along with three other players that their deals wouldn't be extended. Akinde played 30 times in all competitions this season with three goals and three assists, helping them to safety in League Two.

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Explaining the decision, as well as showing his gratitude to those departing, head coach Cowley said: "Can we take the opportunity to thank all of the players for their hard work and commitment since Nicky and I came to the club. We have spent the last week meeting with the players, reflecting on the season and looking to the future.

"On behalf of the club, we have tried to make some difficult decisions on players that we think a lot of as people. I am sure you will join us in wishing them success in their careers moving forward."

The 34-year-old won't be a part of Cowley's plans moving forward though, and now he is on the hunt for the 16th club of his career. Akinde was a player for Pompey in the 2012/13 season, joining a month-to-month contract when Guy Whittingham was in charge. Pompey finished 24th in League One that year, and Akinde left having made 11 appearances but failed to score.

After leaving Portsmouth, he dropped two divisions to play for Alfreton Town, rediscovering his scoring tough with 18 goals in 43 games. Akinde ended up signing for Barnet and helped the Bees to promotion with 31 goals in 45 games, and for two consecutive seasons in League Two he scored more than 20 goals.

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He worked under Cowley during their time together at Lincoln City, and they got 17 goals out of him in 2018/19, helping them to promotion. Cowley departed Sincil Bank for Huddersfield Town in September however, and then Akinde fell out of favour under Michael Appleton, before being moved on to Gillingham. Akinde spent two seasons as a player at Priestfield before moving on to Colchester with his best return being seven goals in 41 games in the 2022/23 season.

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