Colchester's joy over double-signing

COLCHESTER United's quest to pull clear of the Championship's relegation zone has received a double boost with the signing of two new players.The U's have smashed the club record transfer fee for the third time in the last six months, by recruiting centre-half Chris Coyne from Luton Town in a £350,000 package.

COLCHESTER United's quest to pull clear of the Championship's relegation zone has received a double boost with the signing of two new players.

The U's have smashed the club record transfer fee for the third time in the last six months, by recruiting centre-half Chris Coyne from Luton Town in a £350,000 package.

And United boss Geraint Williams also snapped up Tottenham's promising right-back, Phil Ifil, on a busy afternoon of transfer activity at Layer Road yesterday.

The Ifil deal, subject to all the add-on clauses (including number of appearances) could end up surpassing the fee for Coyne.


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Both Coyne and Ifil will be available for tomorrow's match at Bristol City, and both are expected to travel with the rest of the squad to Bristol today.

The arrival of Coyne, from cash-strapped Luton, eclipsed the club record £300,000 paid to MK Dons for target man Clive Platt on July 3.

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Earlier that day, the U's had smashed the previous club record (£50,000 for Neil Gregory and also Adrian Coote) by signing winger Mark Yeates from Tottenham for a six-figure fee.

U's boss Williams said: “It's great news for the club that we have managed to sign Chris (Coyne). He is a defender with bags of experience and leadership qualities.”

United have been shipping goals at an alarming rate this season, and have not kept a clean-sheet since the 3-0 win at Preston on August 25. That remains their only clean-sheet of the campaign.

It is hoped that the arrival of 29-year-old Coyne, who played more than 250 games for Luton, will shore up the defence. Ifil, meanwhile, is a highly-rated 21-year-old full-back who has made five appearances for Tottenham. He can play anywhere across the back four.

See page 47 for the full story.

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