New Colchester United boss Hayden Mullins has spoken of his excitement to get the new season underway after being unveiled as Head Coach yesterday.
"I'm very proud, and I said when I joined twelve months ago I knew it was a fantastic club. It's a club that has some real good staff and direction.
"Having left Watford, I thought it was the perfect club for me to come in and learn and progress as a coach, albeit this last season has had its ups and downs. But for me personally, it has been a great learning experience."
Hayden was installed in charge of the club for the final eight games of the season, where he steered the U's away from the drop zone with twelve points from eight games, including three home wins in a row against Walsall, Southend United and Salford City.
Having initially joined from Watford in the summer of 2020, following the Hornets' relegation from the Premier League, Hayden was appointed assistant to Steve Ball, before taking the reins in the last part of the season.
"We are going to try and build the momentum ahead of next season, definitley. It'll be a different group, everyone is aware of the number of players that have left the club, and we want to recruit the right type.
"It's given us the scope to do that, we have spoken to a number of players already. We want to build a real good group, not only for the football club, but also for the young ones to learn from."
Chairman Robbie Cowling was delighted to appoint Hayden going into next season, with the U's looking to enjoy a more successful season than the 2020/21 campaign. Also speaking at the unveiling of Mullins as Head Coach, the U's chairman said:
"Hayden picked it up in a really difficult situation, and managed to average 1.5 points per game in those difficult circumstances that got the club out of trouble, and continued to keep us in the Football League.
"As a club, we do like to promote within. Hayden completely gets the club, he knows what we are trying to do, he understands the way we work as a club and the way we try to promote our youngsters, and we also try to promote our young coaches as well.
"It fits perfectly for us and we are really delighted. Hayden brings a lot of experience from the Premier League where he has played. He was at a big club with Watford, where he has done a lot of his coaching and we are delighted. Hayden ticks a lot of boxes, and we are delighted to have him as our first team coach."