Date: 3rd July 2013 at 9:41am
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Freddie Ladapo and Mark Cousins have both agreed new contracts to stay with the club in recent weeks, with the duo both out of contract this summer.

John White, who departed for Southend, and centre-half Matt Heath, who was released, were also both out of contract and have moved on to pastures new, but Ladapo and Cousins will remain with Dunne’s squad as they both look to push on for first team football.

It was a season of mixed emotions for Mark Cousins who began the campaign having been given the U’s number one shirt by John Ward following the departure of Ben Williams to Hibernian. Having made his U’s debut six years ago, it would have felt like a long time coming for the long-term number two.

However, despite putting in a number of Man of the Match performances during the U’s difficult start to a tough campaign, the 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Essex neighbours Chelmsford City saw Cousins lose his place in the side.

Joe Dunne drafted in John Sullivan on loan from Charlton to take Cousins spot, before then bringing in Sam Walker on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season and Cousins was resigned to being the number two once more.

It appears likely that Walker is set for another U’s return, but Chelmsford-born Cousins told the official website that he was pleased to stay with the club and will be looking to fight for his place in the team.

‘It has taken a bit of time to assess things but I’m pleased that I’ve signed,’ he revealed. ‘I’m really looking forward to being back in with the lads and to the new season.’

Meanwhile, youngster Freddie Ladapo will be hoping that he can break into the first team picture even further this season, having been given his first taste of professional football towards the end of the previous campaign.

Ladapo made his first team bow in the Boxing Day defeat to Brentford, before a number of cameo roles in games at Hartlepool and Bury, for example, continued to provide him with a glimpse of his sought-after future.

‘It’s great to have signed a new deal and I can’t wait to get started again,’ he told the official site.

‘It was a big step for me in my career – I want to take further steps this season by starting for the first team and seeing if I can become a regular in the side.’

U’s fans are also keen for youth talent to make the step up, and all will be hoping that the twenty-year old forward can find his way into the first team picture and begin to net goals as he has so consistently done at the different levels of his U’s career.


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