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Club News

A Future With Youth

27 February 2014

The first of our Fans Forum reports.

On Monday night at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester United's Season Ticket Holders were given the chance to hear about the club's plans for the future.

In an open floor Q&A, chairman Robbie Cowling, manager Joe Dunne and Academy Manager Tony Humes were on hand to talk about the past, present and future for Colchester United.

In the first of our reports, we look at Joe's intent to give young players a chance at the U's.

A Bright Future
Of course, we've already seen a number of youngsters make a big impression at first team level.

After Alex Gilbey and Drey Wright broke through last season, Tosin Olufemi, Sammie Szmodics and Macauley Bonne have all been in the first team this year, with Frankie Kent and Michael O'Donoghue on the bench more than once.

And Joe is keen to give those players their chance.

"Next year, we've got a target of 25% of players in the squad being home grown, but next year's pre-season squad will have more than that. It doesn't bother me how old they are, if they're good enough."

"We must bring these Academy players through and walk the walk after talking the talk.

"With the injuries we've had this season, I initially ventured into the loan market, but this has become less over time and Alie Sesay is the only loanee in the current squad and I recently named my first league eleven without a loanee in the starting eleven.

"I am confident that, as manager, I can give a young player a chance if they're good enough and I believe I won't need to make too many signings this summer to bring the squad to where it needs to be.

He told the forum: "My tendency now is to look at what we have in the academy before heading out to bring in a loan deal.

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