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The New Faces Show

2 September 2015

A look at the U's summer transfer dealings.

It may have been a relatively quiet day on Deadline Day for Colchester United, but the summer transfer window has been a productive one for Tony Humes and his team.

The U's have made eight additions to their first team squad since last season came to a close, as well as four signings for the U21s squad with one eye on the club's future.

The management team started their summer dealings with the conversion of two loan players to permanent deals. Richard Brindley and Matt Briggs were part of the side that finished so strongly last season and both will be hoping for regular first team football in 2015/16.

The U's third summer addition was also a defender, with George Elokobi returning to the club after a seven year absence to take his place in the squad.

Supporters had to bide their time to see George in action at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, but he made a typically explosive entrance back into U's life with the equalising goal against Scunthorpe at the weekend.

With his defensive unit sorted, Tony Humes looked further up the pitch and former Yeovil Town midfielder Joe Edwards arrived despite plenty of interest from other teams.

Joe brought experience not only at League One level but also the Championship and he was followed through the doors at Florence Park by Elliott Parish, who had spent time in the second tier with Blackpool last season ahead of an extended summer trial with the U's.

As the season approached, Tony brought in more experience with the addition of Darren Ambrose and, like George Elokobi, he has already made a big impression, including a debut goal in the match against Blackpool.

Ambrose's former Palace teammate Owen Garvan then followed him to the U's, penning a deal until January as he arrived ahead of last weekend's game against Scunthorpe.

Also joining ahead of the game against the Iron was winger Callum Harriott, and he became yet another player to make an instant impression as he won a man of the match award in his first game in a Colchester shirt.

The one gap left to fill in Tony's transfer plans is a striker.

Twice the U's were on the brink of a new face to challenge Chris Porter and Macauley Bonne, but the loan market - which opens in a week's time - will now offer the U's the opportunity to add a fresh face for the coming months.

Porter was one of two players to sign extended contracts in the early weeks, with Kane Vincent-Young also rewarded for his early forays into first team football with a new deal.

As Kane made his first team breakthrough, three players who started pre-season have left the club as the summer has progressed, one temporarily, two on a full time basis.

Defender Ben Gordon left to seek pastures new after initially returning for pre-season, whilst Chris Lewington also left the club after finding his first team opportunities limited after arriving in the summer of 2014. 

Meanwhile, Dan Holman headed out on loan for the third time in his U's career, this time joining Woking. His initial loan spell was for a month, but has subsequently been extended to the start of January. 

With the first team squad looking in decent shape, the U21s have also been bolstered by the U's summer recruitment.

Kieran Bailey had arrived on trial at the end of last season and was added into the full time ranks over the summer.

The former West Ham midfielder, whose chances thus far have been limited by injury, was followed through the door by two further ex-Premier League youngsters as the club's reputation for developing young players continues to grow.

Charley Edge (Everton) and Chris Regis (Southampton) had both spent pre-season with the U's and did enough to earn a summer move and the chance to play regular U21s football.

And, as the window came to a close on Tuesday, the U's also added goalkeeper Dillon Barnes from Bedford Town. The former Fulham shot stopper was another to have impressed on trial.

With a solid squad of players, the U21s have got off to a flier in 2015/16, winning three of their first four games to sit top of their league at the start of September.

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