Colchester United midfielder is setting the Wright example

David Wright volleys wide of the target at Bristol City earlier in the season

David Wright volleys wide of the target at Bristol City earlier in the season

David Wright has been a model professional throughout his career, stretching back 17 years.

So it’s no surprise that he now hopes to be a role model to youngsters just starting out on their careers, in the Colchester United camp.

Wright notched his 450th league start, in Tuesday night’s goalless draw against high-flying Rotherham, again catching the eye with a composed performance in front of the U’s back four.

The 33-year-old, who made his league debut for Crewe Alexandra back in 1997, is still very much a key member of the U’s team, and has a big part to play in keeping the Essex club out of the relegation scrap this season.

But in addition to these current-day concerns, Wright also has an important role to play in helping to guide the future stars of the club.

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“Over the years, my role has changed,” explained Wright, in the build-up to today’s home game against Coventry.

“When you are young and you are starting out, you look towards the senior guys for guidance.

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“Now those roles have reversed – the younger boys are now looking up to me for that guidance.

“So I want to set an example. I want the boys to do things right, because throughout my career I have obviously seen a lot of young players come and go, who have maybe thrown their talent away by some of the decisions they have made.

“But we have a lot of good young hungry players in our dressing room, and you don’t want to see that happen to them.

“I try to set an example in and out of the club, and try to hand out advice on the training field whenever necessary.

“So my role in the dressing room has changed, and I’m really enjoying it,” added Wright.

In all, Wright has so far totalled 525 career appearances, during long spells at Crewe (1997-2004), Wigan Athletic (2004-07), Ipswich Town (2007-10), Crystal Palace (2001-13) and now with Colchester.

He has certainly proved to be one of the most successful signings of manager Joe Dunne’s current reign, filling a defensive midfield position to good effect since his move from Selhurst Park on a free transfer in January, 2013.

And although the U’s have struggled of late – mustering just two points from a possible 18 in their last sis matches – Wright is confident that results will turn against some of the less fancied clubs in the division.

“We’ve had a tough set of games, and I think we have been quite unlucky, points-wise,” continued Wright.

“We’ve played most of the top six in the last few weeks, and only come out of it with a couple of points.

“But the games have been close, so it bodes well for the future because we are more than competing with these top teams.

“We just need to keep up those performances, moving into the rest of the season, against some of the teams at the other end of the table.

“We need to take the points out of these games to move us up the league,” added Wright, who is set to make his 40th appearance in a U’s shirt against Coventry this afternoon.

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