Phil Brown: "Releasing Freddy Eastwood one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."

Phil Brown - tough decision to release Freddy Eastwood

Phil Brown - tough decision to release Freddy Eastwood

First published in Sport by

SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has revealed that not offering Freddy Eastwood a new contract at the club was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make.

Brown opted not to hand the 30-year-old striker a deal to remain at Roots Hall.

But it was not a decision he took lightly.

“I’ve had to make some hard choices as a manager but this was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make due to Freddy’s stature at this football club,” said Brown.

“He’s been superb on and off the pitch and he’s been first class with me.

“But with Barry Corr and Lee Barnard here already we have plenty of experience and I just felt as though we needed some youthful exuberance and pace up top, just like we did for a little while when Jamar Laza was here.”

Brown has also decided to release defender Mark Phillips and midfielders Marc Laird and Bedsente Gomis.

And he was keen to thank all three players for their efforts while with the Shrimpers.

“Mark Phillips’ experience helped the younger players while he was here but I think it’s got to the stage where we want to go with youth,” said Brown.

“I think Marc was unfortunate to pick up the hamstring injury at the start of the season because he never really seemed to get back from that.

“Bedsente didn’t play as much as them and only had a couple of substitute appearances.

“Right now I think we need players we could play 46 games in their position and Bedsente probably can’t do that just yet.

“However, I wish him and all the other lads the very best for the future and I would really like to thank them for their efforts while they were here.”

Comments (10)

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5:58pm Fri 23 May 14

tophat27dt says...

I think I agree with Brown's decisions above. Let's hope he can find new youngsters with pace like Jamar Laza had during his first match for us but with more experience. Best wishes to Eastwood too.
I think I agree with Brown's decisions above. Let's hope he can find new youngsters with pace like Jamar Laza had during his first match for us but with more experience. Best wishes to Eastwood too. tophat27dt
  • Score: 3

6:11pm Fri 23 May 14

Sam Carpenter says...

This is a really sad day. On balance I think it's the right decision to let Fred go, we couldn't change things enough for next year with Corr, Barnard and Freddy still at the club, and I think Barnard could do well after a full pre season. And Barry is Barry. We always need Barry. But it's a very sad day. Freddy is, and always will be, right up there with Chris Powell as the biggest Southend legends of my 25 years supporting this football team.
This is a really sad day. On balance I think it's the right decision to let Fred go, we couldn't change things enough for next year with Corr, Barnard and Freddy still at the club, and I think Barnard could do well after a full pre season. And Barry is Barry. We always need Barry. But it's a very sad day. Freddy is, and always will be, right up there with Chris Powell as the biggest Southend legends of my 25 years supporting this football team. Sam Carpenter
  • Score: 3

6:32pm Fri 23 May 14

TheEssexWay says...

Totally agree with both the above comments and wish Freddy all the best and hope he continues his career elsewhere. Let's never forget that goal he scored at roots Hall against Man U?

Although sad to see Freddy go, I'm pleased that Phil Brown is looking at the bigger picture as let's be honest, Freddy was susceptible to injuries. I'm sure Bob Shaw our experienced scout has got a few players lined up for next season, whether on loan or to buy, fingers crossed!
Totally agree with both the above comments and wish Freddy all the best and hope he continues his career elsewhere. Let's never forget that goal he scored at roots Hall against Man U? Although sad to see Freddy go, I'm pleased that Phil Brown is looking at the bigger picture as let's be honest, Freddy was susceptible to injuries. I'm sure Bob Shaw our experienced scout has got a few players lined up for next season, whether on loan or to buy, fingers crossed! TheEssexWay
  • Score: 3

10:08pm Fri 23 May 14

gary 51 says...

I agree with the above, it is a sad day for one of our legends, could I ask that SUFC arrange a testimonial match for Freddy as a remark of respect to a player who was highly thought of at our club.
Just a thought how does that absolute waster of a goalkeeper Mr Smith escape the chop, I can only assume he is on some lucrative deal!!!
I agree with the above, it is a sad day for one of our legends, could I ask that SUFC arrange a testimonial match for Freddy as a remark of respect to a player who was highly thought of at our club. Just a thought how does that absolute waster of a goalkeeper Mr Smith escape the chop, I can only assume he is on some lucrative deal!!! gary 51
  • Score: 3

10:23pm Fri 23 May 14

orsettblue says...

Agree with all the comments here. I saw him play for Grays against us then was at his debut game when he scored against Swansea after 9 seconds.

Legend - yes. Match-winner yes. His goals secured consecutive promotions - brilliant.

Testimonial has to happen.
Agree with all the comments here. I saw him play for Grays against us then was at his debut game when he scored against Swansea after 9 seconds. Legend - yes. Match-winner yes. His goals secured consecutive promotions - brilliant. Testimonial has to happen. orsettblue
  • Score: 3

10:42am Sat 24 May 14

SARFENDMAN says...

Think his days of frightening defenders have indeed passed but hope he has more luck at getting a testimonial than Steve Tilson.
Think his days of frightening defenders have indeed passed but hope he has more luck at getting a testimonial than Steve Tilson. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 2

11:07am Sat 24 May 14

SUFC1906 says...

How does Smith escape the chop? Brown could be hedging his bets in case Bentley goes to a big transfer fee elsewhere. Getting a replacement keeper in quickly to get up to speed in pre season is harder than finding an outfield player.
How does Smith escape the chop? Brown could be hedging his bets in case Bentley goes to a big transfer fee elsewhere. Getting a replacement keeper in quickly to get up to speed in pre season is harder than finding an outfield player. SUFC1906
  • Score: 1

11:59am Sat 24 May 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Why so hard, thats what being a manager is all about THE CLUB and not one single person
Why so hard, thats what being a manager is all about THE CLUB and not one single person CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 1

1:53pm Sat 24 May 14

tophat27dt says...

I thought Bentley said he will be staying? Was Smith that poor in goal? I don't remember. Oh well, Brown will have to have a strong defense again.
I thought Bentley said he will be staying? Was Smith that poor in goal? I don't remember. Oh well, Brown will have to have a strong defense again. tophat27dt
  • Score: 1

4:54pm Sat 24 May 14

jolllyboy says...

Mistake !
Mistake ! jolllyboy
  • Score: -1
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