Barker hopes to return to Layer Road
CHRIS Barker's loan spell may have expired, but the reliable left-back wants to return to Layer Road next season.Barker's loan move from Cardiff City proved such a success that his initial four-month deal, forged during the second week of the campaign, was extended to last the whole season.
By Carl Marston
CHRIS Barker's loan spell may have expired, but the reliable left-back wants to return to Layer Road next season.
Barker's loan move from Cardiff City proved such a success that his initial four-month deal, forged during the second week of the campaign, was extended to last the whole season.
The 27-year-old made his Colchester United debut in the 2-1 defeat at West Brom on August 19, after which he missed just five league games, four of these due to either suspension or ineligibility (games against his parent club Cardiff).
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Barker still has a year left on his contract at Ninian Park, but he is in no doubt as to where he wants his future to lie - Layer Road!
Speaking to the EADT, Barker revealed: “As it stands, I'll be returning to Cardiff. I believe they report back for pre-season training on June 28.
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“But I'll be waiting by the phone, hoping to hear from Colchester. The lads have had a fantastic season, and I'm delighted to have played my part.
“I was an ever-present for Cardiff the previous year (2005-06), but it soon became evident to me in pre-season that I wasn't going to be involved this season. I wasn't even in the travelling squad for some games.
“I was delighted to sign for Colchester, and I've been very happy here. The season has gone really well, and we even had a chance of getting into the play-offs, going into the last two games.
“It was great to finish 10th, and even finish above Cardiff! They got off to a flyer in the first half of the season, but couldn't maintain it,” added Barker.
After a successful first four months at Layer Road, ex-Barnsley defender Barker signed an extension to his loan deal during the January transfer window. At the time, he expressed his disappointment that it wasn't a permanent contract.
He continued to be the model of consistency on the left side of defence, alongside centre-halves Wayne Brown and Pat Baldwin, and right-back Karl Duguid. And he would love to renew those defensive partnerships next season.
“We will have to wait and see what happens. Naturally my first aim last January was to sign permanently, but that just didn't happen,” continued Barker.
“Hopefully, Colchester United and Cardiff City can come to some sort of agreement.”
The one black spot for Barker was his two red cards, the only two incurred by the U's all season.
He was sent off in the home game against Southend, due to two bookable offences, and was also dismissed for violent conduct during the 3-1 defeat at Stoke on the penultimate weekend of the campaign.
Barker served the first of a four-match suspension against Crystal Palace on Sunday, so he will also have to sit out the first three fixtures of next season.
But where he begins next term is still in the balance, whether it be at Colchester, Cardiff or elsewhere.