Colchester United manager Tony Humes’ summer wish-list

Tom Eastman, in action against Bradford last season. U's boss Tony Humes is looking for an experienc

Tom Eastman, in action against Bradford last season. U's boss Tony Humes is looking for an experienced centre-half to partner Eastman for next term.

Colchester United boss Tony Humes is on the look-out for at least four new players before next season gets under-way.

And top of Humes’ wish-list is an experienced centre-back, in the mould of a Kaspars Gorkss or Bongani Khumalo, who both played key roles for the U’s during the back-end of last season.

Humes is back on his U’s hot seat this week, after a well-deserved holiday, looking forward to his first pre-season as Colchester manager, and then his first full season at the helm – he was appointed U’s boss at the start of last September.

The 49-year-old has already snapped up right-back Richard Brindley on a permanent deal, following the former U’s loanee’s release from Rotherham earlier in the summer. Now he is focussing on bringing in more players to bolster his squad ahead of the season opener at home to Blackpool on August 8.

“Ideally, I want to add at least four new players, and possibly a few more,” revealed Humes.

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“We lost a few players at the end of the season, but they had not been involved during the run-in.

“But of course our loan players also went back.

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“We need a few new faces, especially experienced ones to help out our younger players.

“I already have Tom Eastman, Frankie Kent and Alex Wynter as centre-half options, but we fared better when we also had an older head in there, like a Kaspars Gorkss or Bongani Khumalo.

“We had a solid, consistent back four during the closing weeks of last season, which really helped us.

“And that included Richard Brindley, who proved what a good player he is during the final few matches. Now he has a good chance to develop his career with us.”

The likes of Jabo Ibehre, Sanchez Watt, Sean Clohessy and Magnus Okuongahe all left the U’s at the end of the season, while loanees Khumalo, Jacob Murphy, Matt Briggs and Rhys Healey also departed.

Meanwhile, former U’s player David Wright, the ex-Ipswich Town stalwart, has returned to the Essex club to take on a coaching role alongside John McGreal with the U’s Under-21 development squad, in addition to managing Ryman League North side Maldon & Tiptree.

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