Colchester United’s Alex Wynter is ready to crown five ‘great weeks’ with a victory
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
On a personal level, Alex Wynter wants to crown a great last few weeks by helping Colchester United to reach the League Two play-offs this weekend.
Off the pitch, Wynter became a father a few weeks ago, with the birth of his son, Gabriel.
And on the pitch, the 23-year-old returned to the U’s starting line-up last weekend, in place of the injured Cameron James at sweeper, playing a big role in the 3-1 away win at Leyton Orient.
Now Wynter looks poised to keep his place against visiting Yeovil Town, on the final day of the regular season tomorrow (kick-off 5.30pm), with the U’s needing a win and results elsewhere to be favourable to secure a play-off berth.
“Being a father brings extra responsibility,” enthused Wynter, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.
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“It’s not just me I am playing for now. I’m playing for my son’s future as well.
“It’s been the biggest blessing for me, and it’s been a great month, and hopefully on Saturday it can become a great five weeks.
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“We’ve had a lot of things thrown at us this season, with all the injuries, but the group as a whole has reacted brilliantly.
“And if we could just top it all by getting into the play-offs, then it would be the cherry on the top of the cake,” added Wynter.
Ex-Crystal Palace trainee Wynter was involved in the end-of-season heroics of 2014-15, when Tony Humes’ men avoided relegation at the death with a final day 1-0 home win over promotion-chasing Preston.
This time, rather than fighting for their League One survival, John McGreal’s current-day U’s are battling for a chance to return to the third tier, via the play-offs.
“The last few seasons have been a bit different,” continued Wynter.
“There was the Preston game where we were fighting to stay up, and then last year we were already relegated by this time.
“So it’s a nice feeling, going into a game where we know that if we win we may get into the play-offs.
“There’s less tension than there was before the Preston game two years ago, and more in the way of excitement.
“I remember we did a lot of shape-work, and a lot of drills, in training in the build up to that game, focussing on it as a long build-up.
“But this week has been more relaxing. There’s no real pressure on us, we can only get the win and see what happens.
“There’s a great feeling about the place, and the awards (player-of-the-year) ceremony on Tuesday evening has broken up the week quite well.”
The U’s simply have to beat Yeovil tomorrow, and hope that other results go their way – they are currently just one point but three places off the top seven.
Wynter explained: “I think we’ll know by the gist of what the fans are doing, off the pitch, as to whether or not we are going to be in the play-offs.
“I was on the bench for that Preston game and came on quiet late, but we knew from the boys not in the squad, who were sitting behind us, what was happening elsewhere because they were checking the scores.
“But this weekend we just need to be focussed and get the job done.
“It’s a great occasion to be a part of, and it will be an added motive for the boys who played against Preston, like me, to get us in a position of playing where we wanted to be playing.
“As a player, you don’t always get a chance to play in the play-offs, so we must make the most of it,” added Wynter.
Last weekend’s appearance at Leyton Orient was only Wynter’s 14th of a stop-start season.
The Croydon-born defender has had to bide his time, and just keep fit, waiting for his chances, and he coped well with all the off-the-pitch antics at Brisbane Road last weekend, when a pitch invasion caused the match to be delayed for two hours.
“Last week’s match was something that I don’t think anyone had been involved in before,” admitted Wynter.
“It was an experience, but we move on now to the Yeovil game,
“It’s not been a great season for me personally, but as a team we are still around the play-offs.
“I’ve been involved all season, mainly on the bench, which is not where I want to be, but the boys have been doing so well, so I can’t really complain.
“I’ve just had to keep fit, but we’ve had so many injuries that on a Saturday I could be out of it, and then the following Tuesday I could be straight in the team.
“It’s just been a case of being ready, when I’ve had my opportunities. I think I did well against Leyton Orient and, if selected, I’d like to do the same this Saturday.”