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Club News

New To League Two: Colchester United

1 June 2016

We continue our focus on the teams joining us in League Two next term and Colchester United are next to fall under the spotlight.

Who’s in charge?
John McGreal was appointed as the new First Team Coach at Colchester United at the beginning of May, stepping up from his role as the Club’s Under-21 boss.

The U’s have made a habit of promoting from within during recent years and McGreal follows in the footsteps of Joe Dunne and Tony Humes in being promoted from the youth set-up to boss the First Team.

McGreal, along with assistant Steve Ball, will now form part of a new management structure at Colchester, with former boss Tony Humes back at the club in a Director of Football role alongside Head of Football Operations Tony Ashby.

Where do they play?
The Weston Homes Community Stadium was opened in August 2008 and Colchester United moved in to begin their 2008/09 campaign at a new home.

The U’s had previously played at Layer Road since 1937 but they worked with their local council to start work on the 10,105 all-seater in July 2007 and it was completed at a cost of £14million.

In May 2009 the stadium was named as overall winner in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors East of England Awards, described as a “fantastic facility” which gives “benefits to the wider community”.

How did they get here?
After steering clear of relegation by just two points in 2014/15, Colchester United weren’t so lucky last term and their fate was sealed after a 3-0 loss to Burton Albion at the end of April.

Following a winless opening to 2015/16, The U’s picked up during September when they won four in a row to climb up to eighth in the table and just a point outside the League One play-off zone.

However, a run of just one league win in the next nine outings led to them parting company with boss Tony Humes and just before Christmas they appointed Kevin Keen as his successor.

Victories remained hard to come by for the Essex outfit, indeed Keen had to wait until the beginning of March for his first league triumph – three others followed soon after but were not enough to salvage the season.

In the end they finished 23rd in the table and conceded 99 goals – more than any other team in the country.

When did we last meet?
It was back in the 2012/13 season when the two sides last shared a division – the year in which Pools were relegated back to League Two.

The last meeting was at Victoria Park in March 2013 but it was hardly an inspiring game as it finished 0-0 – the most exciting bit being U’s front man Jabo Ibehre being sent-off just before half time.

Earlier in the campaign Pools had gone down 3-1 at The Weston Homes Community Stadium; loan man Craig Lynch gave us an early lead but the hosts responded with goals from Gavin Massey and Ibehre (2).

When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new League Two campaign will be released at 9am on Wednesday 22nd June.

Higgy’s View
“I know they have a very firm philosophy at Colchester in terms of bringing players through and giving them a career in the game, which is really refreshing to see.

“They’ve changed things around a little in terms of their management structure since the end of last season so that’s something different and they’ll be hoping that pays off next season.

“It’s a new ground for me too – I’ve not been to their new stadium so it’s a game I will be really looking forward to.”

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