Colchester United change – it was more Joe Dunne’s decision, than Robbie Cowling’s

Colchester United boss Tony Humes

Colchester United boss Tony Humes - Credit: Gregg Brown

Robbie Cowling revealed that it was more Joe Dunne’s decision, than his own, for the Irishman to stand down as Colchester United boss.

Often when a manager’s departure is described as ‘by mutual consent,’ it masks the true reason, namely that a chairman or owner wants a new face in charge of his football team.

That doesn’t seem to be the case with Dunne’s exit, after nearly two years at the helm.

“I always talk to Joe (Dunne) after games, and last weekend’s game was no different,” explained U’s owner and chairman Cowling, with reference to Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Peterborough.

“We had our conversation like we normally do, and it was during that conversation – it was really more Joe than myself – that he decided that perhaps someone else should take on the baton and try to move the club forward.”


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Cowling lost no time in appointing Dunne’s successor, the U’s Academy Manager Tony Humes.

He continued: “As you know, my philosophy within the club is to look internally.

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“The last two managers (John Ward and Dunne) were both assistants before they were appointed manager, and now I want to go with Tony.

“I’ve worked alongside Tony for the last five years he has been at the club, so he’s been at Colchester a long time now. He’s done an excellent job for the club in terms of driving our Academy forward.

“I think we have one of the best Academies going, and I wanted to give Tony that chance now at the next level of the game.”

The U’s have never been in the habit of chopping and changing their managers, at the first sign of difficulties, and Cowling has always shown great patience with those he has appointed in the past.

“Colchester is not a club that has a quick change of managers, unlike some other clubs,” insisted Cowling.

“Joe was with us nearly a couple of years, and so was the case with John Ward before him. So I always expect to appoint a manager who will be with the club for quite some time.

“Tony, like the rest of the managers, gets my full backing to achieve what we want to achieve.”

The U’s are now on the look-out for a new Academy manager.

Cowling added: “That will be a massive appointment for us, because I’m gaining a manager but I’m also losing a good Academy manager.

“So that’s going to be an extremely important decision for us. Tony has been doing that for five years, but there is always an opportunity in any problem.”

Humes took his first training session, as the new manager, at Florence Park this morning.

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