Earlier this week, it was confirmed that U's U23s Head Coach Wayne Brown would be taking over the reins at Maldon & Tiptree. Following that news, chairman Robbie Cowling updates us on the plans for 2018/19.
With Wayne Brown taking over as the new manager at Maldon & Tiptree from Kevin Horlock, and with Kevin taking over from Wayne as the U23s Head Coach at Colchester, it has raised speculation amongst supporters of both clubs as to which of them has been promoted to the more senior role.
Because both Wayne and Kevin are highly respected coaches who both have ambitions to progress as high as they can in the game, I thought it was best if I clarified the situation.
However, before I do that, I would like to provide some background about our relationship with Maldon & Tiptree FC and the roles that Wayne and Kevin will perform.
In recent seasons, Colchester United has formed a close link-up with Maldon & Tiptree FC.
At Colchester, we are keen to provide our young players and coaches with experience of men’s football as a pathway to becoming players and coaches at first team level and this has already paid dividends.
On the playing side; Femi Akinwande, Charley Edge, James Bransgrove, Eoin McKeown, Ryan Gondoh and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe have all played for Maldon & Tiptree before making their debuts for Colchester United’s first team and a number of Colchester’s promising scholars who have big futures have also played for Maldon & Tiptree including Ollie Kensdale, George Brown and Ryan Clampin.
During this period, Maldon & Tiptree has also been treated as a pathway into Colchester’s U23s with Femi Akinwande, Ryan Gondoh, Ben Wyatt and Tarryn Allarakhia all making that transition.
On the coaching side; David Wright and Steve Ball both managed Maldon & Tiptree before they became First Team Assistant Coaches at Colchester.
Until now, Maldon & Tiptree was seen as a potential pathway into our U23s, which in turn was the pathway into Colchester’s first team and in recent years Colchester United has seen many players progress straight from its U23s into the first team.
However, from this season that is going to change.
It will not be in all cases, but in most cases we will expect our young stars of the futures to benefit from experiencing more men’s football before they are thrust into the first team environment.
Of course, not all of that will be at Maldon & Tiptree as that would not always be the best option and the rules regarding the number of loans allowed between clubs wouldn’t permit it.
But with Wayne in charge at Maldon with his knowledge of our players and our club’s philosophy it will be one of our preferred options, especially if Maldon can get themselves promoted by a couple of levels in the next few seasons.
So, returning back to why this decision has led to Wayne Brown and Kevin Horlock swapping roles, it is simply a matter of the fact that Wayne's role was - and still is - to prepare players for first team adult football. His new role allows him to do that in an environment which is about winning games of football.
Kevin’s new role is to focus more on player development where the result is important but not everything. This we believe is the best pathway for our players and coaches as preparation for first team football.
This is not a statement of intent as to who is going to be the next first team Head Coach at Colchester. On the one hand I am really happy with the job that our current first team Head Coach John McGreal is doing, so I don’t expect that role will become available any season soon and on the other hand I would have a lot of applications and options to consider if it did.