A squad of U's youngsters have been across to Ireland on tour.
The U15s/16s headed across the Irish Sea to take on three different squads from St Kevins Boys Club.
The trip proved to be quite a test for the U’s youngsters, with two of the matches against sides containing players up to two years older.
First up was the game against their 1999 squad, (a mix of U16s and U17), who have been All Ireland Champions two years running.
A combination of the opposition playing well and the U’s performing below their usual standard, although the U’s squad had been up since 3am making the trip over, saw the home side come out on top.
The first half was fairly even, with Khris Oti equalising an earlier home goal, but the U’s were 2-1 down when the half time whistle went.
The second half saw the home team take control and the U’s conceded three more goals to end up losing 5-1.
A tougher test awaited the young U’s squad on day two, with a game against the host’s 1998 squad, mainly U17s and including four internationals.
St Kevins were 4-0 up at half time but the score line flattered them and was a little harsh on the U’s.
Khris Oti got his second in two games as the U’s had a real go in the second half but as they ran out of legs, the home side rattled in two more goals in the final fifteen minutes for a 6-1 victory.
The final game of the trip saw the U’s youngsters play a side their own age, a group who were in their first season at St Kevins Academy.
An even first half ended 1-0 to the hosts but the U’s were guilty of missing a number of chances.
Goals did come in the second period though, with Aaron Cosgrave, Josce Syrett, Dean Ager and Josh Pollard getting on the score sheet.
The U’s did concede another goal but the final whistle went with the U’s winning their last game 4-2.
Sean Thacker, heading up the trip for the U’s said” Overall, this was a long, tough and intense three days when the boys were challenged mentally and physically against opposition who were a step up from what we faced as a Category Three academy.
“While we were well-beaten twice on the pitch, the sixteen players who travelled represented Colchester United magnificently and received praise from airport and airline staff, as well as from the staff from our hotel and St Kevins’ club officials.”
“St Kevins proved to be an even stronger club than we had heard and some fantastic contacts were made to further develop our links in the future.”