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Colchester United’s commitment to developing young footballers continues with our Development Centres contributing to the development and success of a significant number of players progressing into academy football and beyond.

Our most recent success story is teenage defender Ollie Kensdale who started with the club’s football in the community 14 years ago. Ollie joined the U’s Development Centres aged seven and advanced through the club's academy before progressing into first team football.

32% of the current academy registered players have progressed through our development centre programme and it has proven a successful route by which Colchester United have identified promising young talent.

The Development Centre is an invitation only programme where players are identified, nurtured and developed within the first tier of our Talent Identification Programme.

To ensure that development and progression of players needs are met on an individual basis, the employment of two full time members of staff with the responsibility of overseeing the Developmental and Operational needs of the Foundation and Youth Phase respectively was implemented during August 2016.

Colchester United Football in the Community has supported and contributed to the progression of 130 players into our academy or within other Category 1 or 2 academies since 2005. 

Highly qualified and experienced full-time and part-time members of staff work across all three tiers of our pathway (Academy, Elite and Development) to ensure high standards of coaching are maintained, whilst processing past knowledge and previous experience to support the individual players’ development.

Our Development Centre Squads participate in the South Eastern Development Centre Games Programme with regular fixtures against the likes the Norwich City, Luton Town, MK Dons, Peterborough and Cambridge amongst others. 

Two fixtures are also organised annually against our Academy to challenge and stretch them from a Tactical, Social and Physical perspective.



Players identified and selected will either possess or be nurtured to possess the following attributes:- 

• Excellent Decision Makers
• Technically Advanced
• Creative and Imaginative
• Risk Takers

Players that show the correct attitude, mentality, willingness to learn will if at the standard required be given the opportunity of progression into firstly our Elite Player Performance Centre before either our Pre-Academy (U8s) or Academy.

To find out more about our Development Centre, please contact:-

Youth Phase (12-16) - Chris.Williams@colchesterunited.net 
Foundation Phase (5-11) - Joe.Hart@colchesterunited.net