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Zak Whitbread and Aaron Wilbraham among five released by Norwich City

Zak Whitbread will be released by Norwich City when his contract runs out in the summer.

Zak Whitbread will be released by Norwich City when his contract runs out in the summer.

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Zak Whitbread and Aaron Wilbraham will not be offered new deals by Norwich City when their contracts run out this summer.

Academy products Matthew Ball, Richard Brindley and Josh Dawkin will also leave the club, it was confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert said: “I’ve got nothing but praise for both of the lads, they’ve been brilliant for the club and it was a difficult decision to make.

“You can’t underestimate that they were a big part of what has happened here and people shouldn’t forget what they’ve done and given for this club.

“But that’s my job as manager of this football club, sometimes these decisions have to be made and I wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Whitbread arrived from Millwall in January 2010, and went on to make 48 appearances during an injury-hit spell at Carrow Road, with his one goal coming in the 1-1 draw at Hull in 2010-11.

Wilbraham joined City from MK Dons in January last year and made 28 outings, 19 as substitute, with two goals – the Canaries’ winner at Leicester on their march to Championship promotion least season and Norwich’s consolation goal at Fulham this season.

His goal at Craven Cottage was Wilbraham’s first in the Premier League and his 100th career goal, while the game also represented Whitbread’s final appearance in a yellow shirt. Wilbraham made his final bow when coming on as a substitute against Aston Villa in the Premier League finalé.

Wales Under-19 Dawkin made three appearances for City in their League One-winning campaign in 2009-10, his debut coming in the 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Gillingham.

Northern Ireland Under-21 international Ball spent six years at City rising through the ranks, but failed to make a first team appearance after signing his first professional deal 12 months ago.

Brindley did not make an appearance for the first team at Carrow Road but was a regular for the Reserves and Academy sides.

First-team stars David Fox, Elliott Ward, Simeon Jackson and Adam Drury, as well as youngsters Korey Smith, Tom Adeyemi and George Francomb, are also reported to be out of contract this summer.

The club has yet to confirm their future status, but is reported to hold one-year options for Jackson, Smith and Francomb.

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