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Club News

A Positive January For U's

31 January 2014

Boss shapes squad and remains unbeaten.

Whilst teams around the country rushed to get final day deals done on deadline day, it has been a positive month's work for Joe Dunne and his coaching team to get 2014 off to a good start.

Not only did the U's sort out four deals to strengthen the future of the playing squad, they also remain unbeaten in the new year, winning two and drawing one of their three games that beat the weather in January.

The big news in the transfer window was the announcement that Sam Walker had opted to join the U's on a permanent basis.

The imposing goalkeeper had established a strong bond with both his teammates and the U's supporters over the course of his year long stint as a loanee, and the news that he was to sign a permanent deal was greeted with much acclaim.

Dominic Vose had been at the club for a much shorter period than Sam, but his decision to sign a new contract to take him through to the end of the season was also well received by the U's supporters who had seen him make such a positive impact at the club.

Alex Gilbey's contract had been the subject of much discussion in the local press since the start of the season, but the midfielder, who has played over twenty times for the first team already this season, opted to extend his stay at the club by signing a new two and a half year contract. 

And Joe did add a fresh face into the squad in January, with Alie Sesay joining on loan until the end of the season from Leicester City.

But as Alie arrived, popular left back Luke Garbutt left the U's. Luke was another to sign a loan extension in January but he was unable to complete that month with the U's as injury to Bryan Oviedo meant that parent club Everton recalled Luke to Goodison.

His final appearance was to help the U's to a 4-2 win at Carlisle, but he watched on from the subs bench on as Everton were beaten 4-0 in the Merseyside derby this week.

January also saw a number of U's youngsters head out on loan to get a taste of men's football.

Mason Spence is currently out at Concord Rangers in the Skrill South, whilst Jack Simmons and Conor Hubble are plying their trade with Steve Ball's Leiston.

Shaun Phillips continued his loan stints away from the Weston Homes, and has been keeping goal for Carshalton in recent weeks.

The month did see two of our homegrown products move onto pastures new. Ryan Melaugh saw his time end by mutual consent, whilst Freddie Ladapo found himself a permanent home after a number of loan spells.

Freddie signed for Skrill Premier side Kidderminster Harriers and his first appearance was to face Sunderland in the FA Cup!

The loan window reopens in a week's time, but Joe will be pleased with how he has been able to use the January window.

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