Joe's pathway to success.
Joe Dunne’s arrival in the Colchester United hotseat completes the Irishman’s journey to the first team job that began nine years ago – although his association with the famous blue and white stripes goes back much further.
The combative full back arrived at Layer Road from Gillingham, where he had spent six years. During seven years across two spells – punctuated by a brief spell at Dover Athletic – Joe became a huge fans' favourite for his no nonsense style of defending.
An intelligent footballer, his thoughtful style away from the hustle and bustle of the ninety minutes saw him take a great interest in the various facets of the game and it was perhaps no surprise that he ventured into coaching when a knee injury brought his career to a premature conclusion in 2003.
He took his first steps on that coaching ladder in 2003, appointed as the U's U17s and youth team coach.
Two years later, under the management of Phil Parkinson, he was appointed as Youth Team manager and his interest in the younger players' development has been a hallmark of his time at Colchester United to date.
With Parkinson's departure to Hull City after the U's promotion in 2006, Joe briefly took up the caretaker role before Geraint Williams was given the full time role to take the U's into the Championship.
A year later, he moved up the ladder to look after the reserve team and, under the management of Paul Lambert, he also took on first team coaching responsibilities.
Joe's steadying hand came to the fore in August 2009, when Lambert's defection to Norwich required another caretaker stint, and courageous 2-1 win against former club Gillingham in that temporary stint gives a tantalising glimpse of what fans might expect under his tenure.
Twelve months further on, having worked under Aidy Boothroyd during his short spell with the U's, and Joe moved up another rank on the coaching ladder, sitting alongside John Ward as his assistant during the experienced manager's two year reign.
A disappointing start to 2012/13 saw John leave the club in late September and, having clearly outlined his own vision of how to take the team forward, Joe was entrusted with the job that he had always hoped would be his own one day – the first team manager role.
His sixteen year association with the club has seen the Irishman develop a strong bond with both the club and its supporters, and now he has the chance to further enhance his place in the fans' hearts with his own style of management.