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Veno free to go

PUBLISHED: 20:00 02 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

VETERAN star Mark Venus was today released by Ipswich.

The 36-year-old defender was given the news by boss Joe Royle this morning.

And Royle admitted: "I slightly regret having to let Mark go.

VETERAN star Mark Venus was today released by Ipswich.

The 36-year-old defender was given the news by boss Joe Royle this morning.

And Royle admitted: "I slightly regret having to let Mark go. I'd have loved to have had him around for another year to help bring on some of the kids.

"That might have been an option had we gone up, but as it is we have to said goodbye and thank him for all he has done for the club."

Venus made a total of 184 appearances, and scored 19 goals for Town after his £150,000 transfer from Wolves in 1997.

He was one of former boss George Burley's best value-for-money buys, but injuries restricted his opportunities to impress successor Royle.

Of his 12 senior outings this season, only four came after the change of manager and he has been sidelined for several months with knee trouble.

Royle revealed: "Mark is fit now and believes he has at least another season left in him. He is also talking about coaching and looking at being player-manager somewhere.

"I will personally give him any help I can to progress his career in the game. His fitness is getting better every day.

"There will be a home for him somewhere in football. All we can do is thank him and wish him all the best for the future."

Venus was a consistent performer for most of his time with Town and will be remembered for a number of spectacular long-distance goals.

He made over 300 appearances for former club Wolves, but always insisted the happiest period of his career was spent in Suffolk.

The Ipswich fans' voted him their Player of the Year for 2002 and Burley rewarded him with a new one-year deal.

That is now about to expire and today's announcement, particularly bearing in mind the club's financial situation and its commitment to cutting costs, comes as no surprise.

Royle added: "Mark didn't play many games for me but he's a sound character, as well as a good player and he took the news well.

"He is actually relishing a new challenge on the other side, as it were, but he is also committed to playing on for as long as he can."


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