Ben Coker one of eight players to leave Southend

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Stalwart defender Ben Coker has opted to leave Southend after six years' service in which he made more than 200 appearances.

Stalwart defender Ben Coker has opted to leave Southend after six years’ service in which he made more than 200 appearances.

The 29-year-old is one of eight senior players to depart Roots Hall at the end of a season when the club managed to retain its Sky Bet League One status with a last-day 2-1 win at home to Sunderland.

Coker leaves along with fellow defendersMichael Turner and Stephen Hendrie, goalkeepers Ted Smith and Josh Bexon, strikers Amadou Ba and Norman Wabo, and midfielder Renei Batlokwa.

With Southend confirming interim boss Kevin Bond as permanent manager on a two-year deal on Friday, he has moved to offer defender John White a new contract.

The club have also activated options in the contracts of midfielders Sam Barratt, Michael Klass, Harry Phillips and Lewis Gard, and defenders Tom Clifford and Rob Howard.

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