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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Szmodics' 16-year stay at Colchester United is finally over

PUBLISHED: 10:01 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:01 27 June 2019

Sammie Szmodics signs off his Colchester United career by scoring twice on the final day of last season, at Lincoln. Picture: PAGEPIX

Sammie Szmodics signs off his Colchester United career by scoring twice on the final day of last season, at Lincoln. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Sammie Szmodics' long 16-year association with his boyhood club, Colchester United, is finally over.

Sammie Szmodics, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Bristol City, back in September, 2013. Ironically, he is set to sign for the Robins. Picture: PAGEPIXSammie Szmodics, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Bristol City, back in September, 2013. Ironically, he is set to sign for the Robins. Picture: PAGEPIX

Szmodics is on the verge of signing for Bristol City, so ending an era which began with the attacking midfielder playing youth football for his beloved U's from the age of seven.

In fact, many young U's supporters will not yet have known a time when Szmodics was not a member of the Colchester United squad!

Still aged only 23 - he celebrates his 24th birthday in September - Szmodics is the shining light of the Essex club's successful Academy, but he is now destined to play on the Championship stage with Bristol City.

The Robins are reported to have fended off late opposition from Championship rivals Leeds United, plus earlier interest from the likes of Hull City and Derby County, to land Szmodics for a fee believed to be around £750,000.

A familiar sight: Sammie Szmodics jumps for joy after scoring on home turf for Colchester United, this one against Notts County.  Picture: STEVE WALLERA familiar sight: Sammie Szmodics jumps for joy after scoring on home turf for Colchester United, this one against Notts County. Picture: STEVE WALLER

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That's a little down on the alleged £1m bid made by Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth during the January transfer window at the start of 2018.

Szmodics was tellingly not at Florence Park, Colchester United's Tiptree-based training ground, when pre-season training started yesterday.

Instead, it is expected that he will be putting pen to paper on a contract with ambitious Bristol City, managed by Lee Johnson.

Colchester-born Szmodics, despite two long-term injuries (ankle problems and then a broken leg) which decimated his 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns, still managed to rattle up 162 first team appearances for the U's (142 in the league), scoring 38 goals (35 in the league), most of them in the No. 10 attacking midfield role.

Ironically, he made his professional debut at his new club Bristol City, as a substitute for Craig Eastmond in a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate in September, 2013, just four days after celebrating his 18th birthday.

And his last contribution to the U's was scoring twice in the 3-0 win at champions Lincoln City at the end of last season, which so nearly guided John McGreal's men into the League Two play-offs.

Meanwhile, the U's have signed left-footed winger Luke Gambin to the club, as he arrives from Luton Town. The 26-year-old started his career at Barnet.

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