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Crash Couldn't Stop Coulter

Young keeper's determination rewarded

9 July 2020

Callum Coulter signed his first development contract this summer, and he certainly hasn't had it easy getting this far in his fledgling football career.

The nineteen year old keeper has impressed with his performances for the U23s, and was included in a number of first team matchday squads during the 2019/20 season.

Going back a few years though, whilst he was at Crystal Palace, any hopes of a football career could have been ruined when he suffered serious injuries in a road accident, including breaking his skull in twelve places.

He was also left partially blind in one eye and 50% deaf in his right ear.

It would have been such a traumatic time for an adult, never mind a thirteen year old youngster, and Callum admitted to the Colchester Gazette that it wasn't easy to get over.

He said: "It was horrible; I’d feel alone most times, as a 13 year-old boy growing up is hard enough but to add that to the mix, it changes your whole perspective on life.

"It was a difficult time after that – I took a full year out of football. My development was halted for a year so effectively, I’m a year behind my fellow players.

"It was tough coming back from it and it was also tough telling the coaches at previous clubs, because I felt it was used as an excuse to offload me and that was disheartening.

"They kind of pushed me away and that was tough, because I couldn’t do anything about it. Now I feel like Colchester judge me on how I’m doing now rather than my past, so that’s perfect."

Callum left the Eagles to join the U's, and has enjoyed his time in north Essex so far.

He continued: "When I first came to Colchester, it was like a breath of fresh air and one of the best things I could have done."

"I’ve loved my time at Colchester, so far. The club have really given me the chances and my opportunity to really show what I’ve got.

"I struggled at my previous club Crystal Palace to really show how good I was but Colchester really opened the door for me and have really given me what I feel like I deserve."

He has also enjoyed his time with the first team, saying of the senior keepers Dean Gerken and Ethan Ross: "They’re brilliant."

"I was lucky enough to train with Dean and Ethan for a couple of months before the season got suspended.

"Dean is really, really experienced in what he does and he tries to help the younger players, so he’s class.

"Ethan is the same and he can kind of relate to me because he’s a similar age to me and he’s been through what I’ve been through, at his other clubs. They’ve got a great bond together and that makes things easier."

He may well be spending more of his training time with the senior keepers at the club now, and is looking forward to the new season starting. 

"With the way that the club is set up and run by the chairman, they want to get young players through.

"I feel like it’s a great place for me and other young players to be, because they’re always looking for new, up and coming talent and it’s going to be a great opportunity, this year.

“It’s a massive relief that I’ve got the deal. I’ll be using this time to improve so that when I come back, I’m in the best shape I can be.

"I don’t want to waste this time over the summer – I want to come back better and be the best of the best.

"I’ll be using this time to improve so that when I come back, I can really give the gaffer something to think about.”

"What happened has definitely made me more determined to be a success. It really has given me that drive to really make it as a professional."

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