‘I have a good rapport with the fans’ – Colchester United’s Courtney Senior

Courtney Senior celebrates after scoring on his senior debut against Forest Green Rovers, last Augus

Courtney Senior celebrates after scoring on his senior debut against Forest Green Rovers, last August. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Courtney Senior will be looking to cement a permanent place in Colchester United’s starting line-up, after signing a new two-year deal earlier this week.

Courtney Senior, right, battles with Crewe's Callum Ainley during the match at Gresty Road in Februa

Courtney Senior, right, battles with Crewe's Callum Ainley during the match at Gresty Road in February. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester Uni

Attacker Senior’s current deal was due to expire this summer, having signed a two-year package following his switch from Brentford in the summer of 2016.

But the 20-year-old has made a big impact, since he established himself in the first-team squad during the middle of this campaign.

His flair, pace and trickery has certainly endeared him to U’s supporters, and he is hoping to feed off that good rapport with the fans over the next couple of years.

“It feels good to have signed a new deal,” enthused Senior, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.

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“I thought it would be best to stay at Colchester, and get as much game-time as possible.

“I feel that I’ve done well, since I broke into the team around the Christmas period.

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“I’ve had a few games now, and I’d like to try and stay in the team, looking ahead to next season.

“Last month, I sat down with my agent and my parents, and discussed my future, although staying at Colchester United was always foremost in my mind.

“It was the gaffer (John McGreal) who gave me the opportunity in the first place, and I think I’ve taken that opportunity quite well.

“He always said that once I got back from my injury, he would give me a chance. He’s kept faith in me throughout.”

- U’s players’ contracts latest

Senior endured a testing start to his Colchester career, following his move from Brentford as an 18-year-old rookie, with just one league appearance under his belt.

He suffered a serious knee injury which ruled him out of the whole of the 2016-17 season, and although he scored on his eventual debut, as a late substitute in a big home win over Forest Green Rovers last August, he damaged his hamstring at the end of that game, which kept him out of league action until the turn of the year.

But since then, Senior has boosted his total appearances to 15, in League Two, contributing three goals.

His last two goals earned good away points at Port Vale (in January, 2-2) and at Carlisle (in February, 1-1).

“It was so frustrating to get that knee injury in my first season, and I’ve had a few more little niggles along the way, but I’ve been fine since Christmas,” continued Senior.

“I’ve settled in well in League Two. It’s very different to under-23s football, it’s more intense and there are bigger crowds.

“In fact, that gives me a big boost, when I am being encouraged by the fans.

“I think that I have a good rapport with the supporters. They egg me on, at games and on social media. Everything has been positive so far, perhaps because I am still young and because I am doing well. I like to entertain, and to get bums off seats.

“I’ve played in different roles, mainly out on the wing and in the No. 10 position.

“The more strings to my bow, the better, and I’ve scored three goals and had a few assists as well.

“I’d like to get a few more goals, and assists, before the end of the season.

“I don’t look on myself as a natural goalscorer, but I can score goals. I’ve proved that I can take my opportunities, when they come along.

“My next step is to stay in the starting XI every week. I’d like to earn my spot for the rest of this season, and then do well in pre-season to keep my place for next year.

“We have a big squad here, so there is big competition for places. There’s no jolly-up.”

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