Following the conclusion of the 2022/23 Vanarama National League South Season, the club are now able to confirm our Retained list ahead of the 2023/24 Campaign!

Under Contract for 2023/24:

  • Louis Dunne
  • Callum Jones
  • Ben Brookes
  • Anisius Lewis
  • Reggie Gregory

Offered New Deals for 2023/24:

  • Cameron James
  • Dave Winfield
  • Adebola Oluwo
  • Harry Lodovica
  • Simeon Jackson
  • Tom Blackwell
  • Arjanit Krasniqi

In Discussions With:

  • Jacob Marsden
  • Jazzi-Barnum-Bobb
  • Michael Folivi

Departing Chelmsford City Football Club: 

  • James Blanchfield
  • Guy Norton


  • Liam Trotter

Loan Players Returning to Parent Clubs: 

  • Eddie Beach
  • Tyreke Johnson
  • Giovanni McGregor
  • Ody Alfa
  • Frankie Terry


Offered Deals:

  • Freddie Hockey
  • Finn Wilkes
  • Harry Davison
  • Evan Payne

Invited Back for Pre-Season:

  • Alfie Gilbey
  • Aaron Cassie
  • Leandro Sain
  • Harvey Farmer

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to those departing Chelmsford City Football Club for all of their hard work and their contributions over their time at the Football Club and we wish them the best for their future endeavours.

Manager Robbie Simpson shared his thoughts on the retained list and looked through the current place of the squad.

Speaking on the Loan players returning to their Parent clubs

” With the loan players returning to their parent clubs, we thank them so much for their efforts. They contributed massively, and one thing you always worry about loans is whether they’re going to buy into the culture and values of the club. Each and every single one of them did so and really embedded themselves into the culture and the values of the club. It was, it was like they’re our own players and that’s exactly what you want from your loan players. All of them were a credit to their parent clubs and a credit to themselves. And of course, we wish them well in returning to their parent clubs. But, you know, we’ve got one eye on what’s going to happen with them, either this summer or in the future because I think it goes without saying we’d love to have all of them back”

Speaking in regard to Liam Trotter’s retirement

“Once again, a big thank you to Liam Trotter. What a wonderful career he’s had and I think we are very fortunate that he chose to share his last season with us. And I know that being a Claret that will live long in his memory of that, and he’ll look back fondly on how he finished his career being a Claret. Of course, I know he’s going travelling with his lovely wife but they will always be welcomed back to the Melbourne Community Stadium. And who knows if he ever decides to come out of retirement will be on the end of the phone waiting for his call.”

Speaking on the players Departing the Club

On Guy Norton “When I first came into, into the role and the remit to try and bring for our own players. One of the first things I did was ask the under-18 manager at the time because we didn’t have the academy who was his best players and he instantly said Guy so we’ve got to train a few times and he showed glimpses of some real quality, real tenacity. And it was someone that we thought yeah, let’s start the ball rolling and bring him into the first team environment where next year we offered him something and full credit to Guy you know, he got thrown in the deep end. And one game that sticks out, in particular, was Dartford at home when we were down to 10 men and he was playing left back against arguably one of the best right wingers in the league at the time with an overlapping fullback down his side because they had an extra man and he really gave one of the best ‘one v one’ defending performances I’ve seen today so you know, we absolutely love Guy he had been unfortunate with COVID and the timing of when he had COVID because he was in the team at the time. And the timing of Eduino being spotted by our reserves and us being made aware of him. Guy getting COVID coincided with us giving Eduino a chance and Eduino really flourished. So it was tough for Guy to get back in.  It’s now time for him to go and play regular football and find a new home but it’s definitely not the end of Guy becoming a Step 2 Player that’s for sure and even beyond. He just needs to go about it a different way now and build his way back up. I have every faith in him and we will keep on supporting him as much as we can and will always be here for him. And we will keep an eye out for him that’s for sure. So we wish Guy all the best and thank him for all his efforts for the Clarets over the last few years”

On James Blanchfield “We had a good chat with Blanchy. Blanchy hasn’t played a lot of football this year. So that was a big factor in him deciding he wanted to move on really. And I think everybody now knows that he signs a Billericay if we didn’t see the best of Blanchy, but we saw him in a moment where he’s probably at his lowest, you know, kind of being frozen out of Concord and then coming to us and then the games he did play the first game he played sort of for a long time so you could see that there was a little bit of rustiness. Having said that, I thought he had an excellent game at Cheshunt and unfortunately, probably followed that up a bit too quickly in terms of the start he made at Hemel but yeah, we would have loved to see him spend more time with Blanchy really and embedded him into the way we want to play given him a preseason with us but totally understand that he’s had a season that he hasn’t wanted and hasn’t experienced before and he just wants to get back playing and an offer got presented to him that he just couldn’t turn down really so we wish him all the best at Billericay. And we really thank him for his efforts when he did play for us this season.”

Speaking on the Players that we remain in discussions with

On Michael Folivi “Probably the most notable to fans given the goals he’s scored when he came to us is Michael. Obviously, he is coming off of a long-term injury needed to get back to scoring goals and our remit was to try and keep him fit and help him to score goals for him to be in the shop window for Football League clubs. So that’s definitely something he wants to explore this summer. He wants to get back into the Football League he wants to be full-time. He’s come in and done what he said he was gonna do and we did what we said we’re gonna do to help them support him and keep him fit. I think he’s going to have a summer exploring his options. He does know that we’d love to have him back if none of those options seem suitable for him. So we’re still in discussions and we’ll keep in constant contact with Michael throughout the summer as things progress and see where that goes.”

On Jacob Marsden ” Jacob hasn’t played as much as he would have liked to this season. He still wants to, obviously still young and hungry, be to be someone’s number one. I’ve got to say that we would love him to stay around. He’s been amazing in terms of the culture that we built this season and the togetherness and the real unselfishness. He’s typified that more than anyone really and not only that, when he has been asked to play he’s, he’s done so to an incredibly high level where it looks like he is our number one. So it’s full credit to him. He’s someone that would like to keep it around. And selfishly we would absolutely love that to happen. He’s got to think about what he wants really, whether he does want to be a definitive number one for a side and play every week. Or whether he or whether he’s happy to still sort of be part of a bigger picture part of the squad and fight to be a number one and maintain his place when he gets a chance. We’ll carry on speaking to Jacob, he’s got some thinking to do. But without question, we would love to keep him. We’ve seen the benefit of having two keepers this year compared to the year before, and then something that we want to do again. He’s just been a massive part of everything good about what we’ve created, the environment. We really do hope he stays but we’ll be respectful of his decision.”

On Jazzi Barnum-Bobb “With Jazzi, he is a little similar to Jacob, although Jazzi has played a lot of games this season, but obviously towards the back end maybe didn’t play as much as he’d have wanted to. Jazzi’s in his late 20’s now and wants to be starting multiple games each season. We spoke to Jazzi about how we want to play and how we feel that he could fit into what we want to do next season. And those talks are ongoing, really about whether it’s going to suit both parties. Jazzi this season has been incredible, a real leader. In terms of the attitude that we’re trying to embed into our younger players as well, he is a shining example of that. And not only for his playing ability but because of those attributes and someone that we’d like to keep around and be with us next season. So we’re just going to keep on sort of discussing things. He’s obviously going to explore what other options might be out there for him. And we’ll just keep in touch and see where it goes.”

Speaking on the Players offered deals for 23/24 

On Cameron James “First and foremost the thing people want to know is how his injury is. It wasn’t a pretty one. But he’s had a scan and it looks like he will be back sort of midway through preseason, so he should be fit for the start of next season. I think he’s a real leader. He’s a Chelmsford boy. He’s someone that quite obviously we’d love to keep next season.”

On Dave Winfield “Our captain, what an environment he’s created in terms of players. Every new player that has come in the fact that they’ve embedded themselves so quickly what the team’s about and as I’ve already mentioned how the loan players have felt like they are Chelmsford suppliers not ‘On-Loan’ players. A large part of that is down to Dave Winfield. Obviously, on the pitch, he’s just an absolute beast that makes players around him play better. We’ve obviously offered David a new deal and we really hope that he stays”

On Adebola Oluwo “Adebola we’ve offered a new contract to. I think we didn’t expect to offer him a new deal. But given his injury this year, we feel like there might be a chance of keeping him I don’t think he’ll have as many options from the league above as he might have done if he didn’t get injured. However, I know he’s had two offers from the league above already. So although we don’t expect him to stay, conversations with him have gone pretty well. So there’s a chance that he might stay and we’ve certainly offered him a deal to make him think. I think he’s open to staying but obviously, he’s got a desire to play in full-time football and at a higher level. We’ll see what we’ll see how that plays out. I don’t expect him to stay I expect him to progress to a higher level. But if for whatever reason he chooses, that those options aren’t right for him then there’s enough of there for him to stay with us and we’ll be absolutely delighted if that happens.”

On Harry Lodovica “I think Harry’s probably done everything that I expected him to this season. He’s got all the raw attributes to be a real handful at this level, and if you think that he was playing, I think step five, maybe step four, last season. He’s definitely a project that we’re working with, to help him become the force we think he can be. And last season he showed that in fits and starts, he showed that he could have the potential to be a real handful at this level. And I think also he showed naivety and maybe game understanding that this level is new to him. He’s certainly someone that we want to continue working with and continue to develop to see whether he can reach that, that potential that we all think and hope he has”

On Simeon Jackson “Simeon has played multiple positions this season. He’s played wide on the right, he’s played in the number 10, and his game intelligence and versatility are a real asset. Not only that, obviously his experience you can’t buy the experience that Simeon’s had and its influence on the younger players is just second to none. So he’s someone we definitely want to keep around. We’ve had discussions about him and the stage of his career is that where he probably needs to wind down is his playing time and build up his focus on off-the-field stuff. But that’s a gradual process over the next probably two to three years for him, I imagine. But we’ve certainly spoken about that. And our offer to him kind of reflects that so I know he already works with Mickey in the academy and does a lot for the community for the football club and he’s got his projects that are building nicely. Also, I’d like him to be a bit more of a part of the management teams, whether that be watching the opposition or a bit of a bit of an S&C or fitness coach. We’ve had discussions with Simeon about that and we’ve made him an offer to reflect that. He’s obviously someone that is embedded into everything that the club’s trying to be so he’s someone that we definitely want to keep around.”

On Tom Blackwell “I mentioned Tom at the end of the season awards he played 60 games this year, been available for all 61 games that we’ve had played in multiple positions both wingbacks played as a number 10, as a striker, played as an out and out Winger. He’s both-footed quick and technically very good. He’s still got a bit to learn in terms of game understanding and perhaps a bit of naivety that you just naturally have when you’re young so I feel like he’s got still some progression to be had but another fantastic season for him. Obviously, we’ve offered him a deal. I’ve already spoken to a few managers in the league above who have called me and asked about him so that reflects how well he’s done. I think undoubtedly might have some offers and we might have to discuss with Club’s potential compensation fees for him. But there’s an offer there for him to stay I know he loves it here. I know he loves how much we care about him and how much we’re helping him develop as a player and as a person. So yeah, we’ll see what happens with Tom but if he stays obviously that’s great news for us. If he doesn’t, then it’s a great story for us picking him up from Coggeshall developing him into an infield club player. Great story for us and if he goes we’ll wish him well. But watch this space for that one.”

On Arjanit Krasniqi “And then lastly to Arj who came in towards the end of the season. Hit the ground running and really became a fan favourite his natural balance being left-footed in the middle of the pitch was really good. He’s got an all-round game where defensively he can do his defensive work, he can join in and go forward. He scored a handful of goals this season as well. I know a number of penalties which at the time was a godsend really finding him as a penalty taker, hee is really good at that. It was at a time when we were struggling to find the penalty taker, he’s one that we’d love to keep around. Obviously he he doesn’t live locally. So he’s got I think whether he can. He did previously have a couple of other players that travelling with him but towards the back end of the season. It was just him but I think his dad was shipping him around so it’s not an easy journey for him to get to Chelmsford. So he’s gonna have to think about that. But I know that he loved his time this season and from the despair that he was having really falling out of love with the game at Dover, he’s definitely come to the Clarets and reenergized and found his love for the game back so I know he’s so appreciative and obviously we hope he can stick around with us next season.”

Speaking on the Players contracted to 23/24

“We signed Ben Brookes and Callum Jones to new deals earlier we mentioned how well they’ve done and looked forward to seeing them next season. When Louis Dunne got injured earlier this season, we signed him to a new deal for next season and while he’s injured his deal reflects differently to when he’s back fit but for him to do that for us last season to give us a real good shot at getting other players in showed what kind of man he is and how selfless he is. Obviously, he’s part of the academy now with Mickey and he is fantastic at that. Louis before his injury was showing real signs of being one of the top midfielders at this level, so we hope we can get back to that as quickly as possible. Onto Anisius Lewis and Reggie Gregory, Anisius had some great loan spells this year. Initially starting in the reserves, scoring a lot of goals, going to Hullbridge scoring goals and then to Bowers and it maybe not quite working out for him step three, and then moving back down a step to Basildon and scoring some goals. So he’s progressing really well and I’m really looking forward to seeing his development next year. And Reggie had a terrible season with injuries. He only played a handful of games so we’re looking forward to getting him back fit and keeping him fit and getting a good preseason and seeing how he can develop next season.”

Speaking on the Academy Players offered deals for 23/24

On Freddie Hockey “We’ve offered Freddie a deal. He went out on loan to a Step 3 side earlier in the year. I think he came back with some real maturity in his play. He’s no longer a naive young boy. He was shaken off all those little small naievities. You could just tell he was brimming with confidence and ready to attack the level so I’m really looking forward to seeing him next year. We’ve offered him a very good multi-year deal. We hope he signs that.”

On Evan Payne ” Evan’s obviously at University of Lincoln he’s been playing for Lincoln United but on his days off or when he’s back from half-term and back for Christmas, etc. And before he goes for the year, in September he trains with the first team and he and he plays for the reserves. So yeah, Evan is going to continue to do that for next season. It’s worked really well.”

On Finn Wilkes “Finn has played with the first team in all those hybrid games and the way we want to play. It shoots that down to the ground in terms of its in terms of his attacking, attacking attributes, but also the fact that he works so hard and his fitness levels are so great that he can help out defensively and going forward and I think we’ve shown what a class that he is. And we really think that thing’s got a bright future. So yeah, we’ve offered Finn a deal.”

On Harry Davison “We’ve had discussions already with Harry Davison, we said we’d like to offer him a deal. He has actually got a very good offer from a D1 College in America in California. So he’s basically just got a decision to make between the two. I mean, I almost felt bad offering him something to give him the decision because the offer from that D1 school in America is that scholarship is something that really excites him right now. And it sounds like an amazing opportunity. But he’s a good enough player that we’d like to keep him around too. He’s played in a number of those hybrid games and is very good
even if he chooses to go out to the States we might look to do something similar to what we did with Evan Payne this year. And if Harry did decide to go to America, I know it’s a bit harder in terms of coming back for Half Term we’d have him signed up whenever he’s back. He’s more than welcome to train with the first team and play for the reserves. So yeah, that’s, that’s where we’re at with Harry”

Speaking on the Academy Players Invited Back for Pre-Season

“For the lads in the academy that we just want to invite back for preseason. We’d like to keep them in and around the club for the whole year next season, even if that means it’s not with the first team even if that’s with the reserves because we want to have a real push to get the reserves promoted next year. At least four lads have shown real progress this season. Alfie Gilbey has obviously had a horrendous injury. But he’s come back from them and getting back to his best again and he’s one that we feel he’s got a real bright future. And we know he’s going to university as well but not too far away so it could work. Aaron Cassie has trained and done the warm-ups with the first team for a while now. And his progression has been fantastic. He’s becoming a man and obviously, he’s still very young and keeps him so we’d like to keep him around the club. Leandro Sain has been a revelation really this season. I don’t think anybody any of us expected to have this conversation with him this time last year, but his progression this year has been has been outstanding. And although we’re not in a position to offer him anything yet, he keeps on progressing at the rate leading the season. And there’s a player there so we’d love to keep him around and be part of the project. And the pathway. And similar for Harvey Farmer really you know, he was Head Boy at Moulsham, a really good reflection on the academy and in football terms he’s he’s progressing really, really well. Yeah, he’s someone that typifies everything good about the academy and what makes the academy elite in terms of his development on the pitch but also is the way he conducts himself on it and influences others off it. And yeah, Harvey is someone who would love to invite back for preseason and keep around next season. Even if that’s not sort of playing for the first time in and around the first thing in terms of training wise and helping the reserves get promoted.”

Academy Manager Mickey Spillane and Chelmsford City Academy Manager Mickey Spillane shared his thoughts on the Academy players that have been offered deals and invited back for Pre-Season.

“It’s been another tremendous year for the Academy where our boys have continued to progress and improve in such a short space of time, so it is great news to offer these boys the chance to continue their development with Chelmsford City, to have more Local boys that love the club being offered contracts and the opportunities that come with it is a great testament to all the work that goes on behind the scenes. We have had Louis Dunne and Simeon Jackson join the academy staff this year and they have continued the great work that is now ingrained in CCFC”

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