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Five Youngsters Sign New Deals

U23s players remain with the U's for the 2022/23 season

25 May 2022

Al-Amin Kazeem, Jake Hutchinson, Donell Thomas, Billy Cracknell and Lordon Akolbire are the latest U's youngsters to commit to Colchester United with new contracts.

The five youngsters have become the latest to pen new deals here at the JobServe Community Stadium, just a few days after Chay Cooper and Harry Beadle committed their 2022/23 seasons with the U's. 

Athletic full-backs Al-Amin Kazeem and Lordon Akolbire have both extended their stay in North Essex, with both having enjoyed loan spells at Maldon and Tiptree to gain first team experience. 

Kazeem said he was pleased to have sorted his immediate future out with the U's: "It feels amazing, I'm glad to know where I'm at. I appreciate the club for signing me again, and I'm looking forward to the new season."

Akolbire was also happy to get his contract early in the summer: "It's good to know early, so I know what I need to work on before coming back for next season. I want to work on those things and push towards what I want to achieve."

Jake Hutchinson has also signed a new deal with the U's. A prolific goalscorer in the youth team, Hutchinson first appeared among the first team for the U's two years ago on the bench at Morecambe, and has since spent time on loan to refine his skills. 

"It's my fourth season here now, so to get a new deal I was buzzing to get it signed, and hopefully I can push on even more. It's nice to get it sorted and not have to worry about where I'm going next."

Billy Cracknell made his debut for Colchester United during last season's 2-1 home win over Carlisle United. Handed his debut by then now permanent Head Coach at the U's, Cracknell is another who has had time away for first team experience, but hopes he can bring that to the JobServe Community Stadium next season. 

"I was delighted to be honest.  I wasn't expecting to be offered a new deal, but I did well on loan at Bishop's Stortford and helped them get into the play offs. I just kept trying my best and kept believing and eventually it came through for me."

Young attacker Donell Thomas is the fifth player to sign a new contract with the U's, with the eighteen-year-old making his first team debut against Forest Green Rovers earlier this season. Thomas has been prolific for the U23s side, and was also named in the squad for the final game against Hartlepool, saying he is delighted to have signed a new deal. 

"It's a very proud moment for me and my family, and I'm very pleased to get it signed. My family have been very supportive, they've always been there trying to help me make the right decisions. I just want to get game time now, and show what I can do on the pitch."

To sponsor any of the youngsters for the upcoming 2022/23 Sky Bet League Two season, please get in touch with Ben Conway, by emailing

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