Aussie recognition for Coyne

COLCHESTER United defender Chris Coyne has burst onto the international scene, at the age of 29!Coyne achieved a life-time ambition when he was called up to the Australian national squad, in preparation for some key games over the next month.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender Chris Coyne has burst onto the international scene, at the age of 29!

Coyne achieved a life-time ambition when he was called up to the Australian national squad, in preparation for some key games over the next month.

The Brisbane-born centre-half is hoping to be involved in the Socceroos World Cup qualifying campaign, before he returns to England to mastermind the U's new season in League One at their new Community Stadium.


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Coyne received a late call-up from manager Pim Verbeek to join the Australian national squad, after spending the last 12 years playing club football in the UK with West Ham, Dundee, Luton and now the U's.

He was an unused substitute during the recent friendly against Ghana, which ended in a 1-0 win thanks to Derby County striker Mile Sterjovski's long-range winner, and he will be looking to make his international debut in another friendly against Iraq this Sunday.

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The Socceroos have several World Cup qualifiers next month, against Iraq (again), Qatar and Dubai, so Coyne will be keeping his fingers crossed that he is selected for the travelling squad.

“It's always been one of my aspirations in the game to represent my country,” insisted Coyne.

“It's been a long time coming - seven or eight years now - but I have been pushing and working hard in Europe to try and get some sort of recognition.

“I am now fortunate enough that my transfer to Colchester seemed to give me that back over here in Australia.”

Coyne made a big impact at Layer Road, following his club record £350,000 move from cash-strapped Luton in January, although he was unable to prevent the U's from finishing rock bottom of the Championship.

They were already at the foot of the table when he arrived, but Coyne is targeting a quick-fire return to the second tier of the Football League with Geraint Williams' men.

“It's up to me to get back there, roll my sleeves up and make sure we get promoted back to the Championship next year,” insisted Coyne, who played 16 games for the U's last term.

“I only went to Colchester in January and so only had three months of that battle, and unfortunately it didn't work out results wise.

“To be fair, injuries played a big part, because we had a large amount of the squad out. I felt a bit disconnected from it, because I wasn't involved week in, week out, with all the games, but I still felt massively disappointed. You want to play at the highest level with any club.

“I have come into a bit of form recently, and I'm really enjoying my football again after 12 months virtually injury-free,” added Coyne.

Next season, Coyne is set to play alongside new signing Matt Heath (from Leeds) at the heart of the U's defence. Fellow central defender Pat Baldwin is currently recovering from a shoulder operation.

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