ALEX Woodyard was disappointed but not surprised to be released by Southend United.

The 20-year-old midfielder was one of five players to be let go by Blues boss Phil Brown at the start of the week.

But Woodyard, who came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall, was not expecting to be offered a new deal.

“When the new manager came in and he didn’t call me back from my loan spell at Braintree I thought things didn’t look too good for me,” said Woodyard.

“It’s a big disappointment because I would’ve wanted to stay and I thought I did quite well in some of the matches I had earlier on in the season.

“But obviously the manager changed, which can happen in football, and the new one only saw me play for 90 minutes in one of the behind-closed-doors friendlies we had before deciding I wasn’t part of his plans.”

Woodyard spent four seasons with the Shrimpers and made 15 appearances for the first team.

Twelve of those came during the 2012/13 campaign, but boss Brown did not see the midfielder playing many matches if he stayed.

“The manager said he had other midfielders who he had lined up to bring in and that I wouldn’t have played much next year,” said Woodyard.

“But since then I’ve had some nice messages from the Southend fans and they have always been really supportive towards me when I’ve played.

“I’d like to thank them for that, but it’s time to move on now.”

Woodyard now has his sights set on securing a switch to a different club and is keen to become another player to go on to enjoy a successful career after being discarded by Blues.

“My agent has already started talking to other clubs and hopefully I’ll be back playing somewhere next season,” said Woodyard.

“Other people have gone on to do well after being let go by Southend and if I could go on to do even half as well as someone like Michael Kightly did when he was released I would be very happy indeed.”