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Club News

Robbie On His Way

2 May 2014

U's Chairman eager to help fundraising bid.

Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling is back on his bike this weekend and is currently on his way to Walsall.

Robbie and a group of cyclists will be cycling to the game at Walsall, once again looking to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, following last year's mammoth efforts.

Whilst still wanting to raise funds for the TCT, Robbie is urging fans to donate in a different manner this time round. 

He told the U's official website: "I'm sure that I'll enjoy the ride but the main priority is to raise as much money as we possibly can. 

"All donations will ultimately go to the Teenage Cancer Trust but I would love to help Stephen Sutton's efforts in helping others. 

"I have really admired the fact that ever since he was diagnosed, he has done all he can to help other teenagers, and I ask any supporters wishing to back our cycle ride to donate via Stephen's Just Giving page." 

Robbie, his brother Richard and son Mitchell will be joined in the two day ride by Academy coach Steve Ball and long term supporter Sam Wolton. 

Stuart Begg, whose daughter Emily started the U's initial interest in the Teenage Cancer Trust, will be driving the support vehicle for the trip, which begins on Friday ahead of the final game of the season. 

Friday sees over eighty miles covered en route to Northampton for the overnight stop, before the remaining sixty three miles are completed on Saturday. 

Robbie and the group's efforts are the latest in a long list of activities the U's and the TCT have teamed up for, a bucket collection at the U's final home game of the season, which raised £1037, being the last.

To donate or to find out more about Stephen Sutton and his fundraising, click HERE

Meanwhile, below is the statement that Robbie included in the programme for the game v Brentford:-

Welcome to our last home game of the season and I want to start by thanking you all for your support over the season. I appreciate that supporting Colchester United has become a lot harder over the last 2 seasons, which have both been relegation battles, but on the whole I have found you all to be very supportive and for that I am extremely grateful.
I would like to say well done to Brentford for the great progress your club is currently enjoying. You really took a body blow at the end of last season and you have recovered well and deserved your promotion. I wish you well in the Championship.
I am making these notes on the train back from the game at Crewe where I felt we did enough to deserve all three points which would probably have guaranteed staying in League One. However, it was not to be and we now have two very tough fixtures from which we will probably need at least one win to secure our League One status for another season.
Those rule changes restricted our playing budget and although I had already planned to gradually cut back the budget each season while investing more in the youth academy I would never have chosen to immediately reduce the budget as drastically as we were then forced to. 

I am not one to make excuses but it is not a coincidence that Colchester United’s League One status has been under threat from the moment the League rules changed two seasons ago.
So as far as the playing budget is concerned, the rules are the rules and although it has been difficult, Joe Dunne has done a great job in managing an ever decreasing playing budget and if we do survive again this season then we will have ridden the worst of it and things will get a bit easier for us next season.
Last season we saw debuts from 2 players who were still scholars and this season we have seen another 2 debuts from the current crop of Under 18s. 

The reason I believe that is because while we may have reduced the playing budget we have been investing that money, and more, in the youth department and the results are coming to fruition even quicker than I could have hoped for.
With so many of the Under 18s being regularly involved with the first team you would expect their results to have suffered but that has not been the case. The Under 18 team, which regularly has Under 15s and 16s playing up, has won the Alliance League and did the double by winning the southern final of the Alliance Cup. This Tuesday they travel to Bradford where we hope they can become National Champions for the first time in the club’s history. 
So then, with so many of the Under 16s being regularly involved with the Under 18s surely their results suffered? Well that has not been the case either. The Under 16 team have played 40, won 27, drawn 8 and lost just 5 games this season. They have scored 142 goals and conceded just 60. As well as beating Cat 3 opposition they have also beaten Norwich, Ipswich, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Fulham.
Without a doubt the academy need to attain the EPPP category 2 status that they failed narrowly to attain 12 months ago. The club desperately needs the tougher games program and the additional protection we get from our boys being poached and I desperately need the additional funding. 
In July we are battling to get the restricted usage of our training ground lifted. I can’t guarantee you that we will win all of our battles at our first attempts but we do intend to win them over the longer term.

These last couple of years have been a very tough test of our character. We have been knocked down many times but got straight back up again and battled on. This weekend we are being audited again for Category 2 and we are fighting for our League 1 status too.
Hopefully we will see the season out and retain our League One status. You all deserve that for your wonderful support.

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