U’s gearing up for new season, on and off the pitch
- Credit: Archant
Colchester United correspondent, CARL MARSTON, casts his eye over the recent goings-on at the League Two club, concerning new players and a new sponsor
It has been a busy last week or so at Colchester United, with two new players arriving and a new sponsor for the Community Stadium unveiled.
Pre-season friendlies are also being finalised, while a potential move for U’s centre forward Mikael Mandron to Peterborough United broke down at the end of last week.
Here is a run-down of the recent goings-on at the Essex club, who finished a disappointing 13th in League Two last season.
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Bailey Vose became the U’s second signing of the summer, following the high-profile arrival of midfielder Harry Pell from Cheltenham.
With regular No. 1 Sam Walker’s contract expiring this summer, and no new deal being penned, Vose has been recruited from Brighton & Hove Albion to contest the goalkeeping jersey with Dillon Barnes.
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Vose has signed a two-year contract, for an undisclosed fee, which will keep the 20-year-old custodian at the club until the summer of 2020.
He never made a first-team appearance for Brighton, who are now an established Premier League club, but he has had a mixture of experience for the Seagulls’ under-23s as well as on loan at the likes of Dartford, Concord Rangers, Welling and Eastbourne Borough.
Left-sided defender Noah Chesmain has arrived at Colchester on a one-year deal, from Millwall.
The 20-year-old is most at home in the left-back role, and had a trial period with the U’s under-23s towards the back end of last season.
Chesmain did play three times for Millwall, although only once in the Football League as a 17-year-old back in 2015, as a late substitute in a 1-0 win over Bury.
He had a couple of outings in the Football League Trophy (Checkatrade Trophy) in 2016, against West Brom Under-23s and Gillingham, but otherwise his first-team experience has been away from the New Den with loan stints at Welling and Boreham Wood.
A total of seven of the U’s younger players, products of the Academy, have signed new contracts or had their deals extended.
Louis Dunne is the most high-profile of these. The son of former U’s manager and full-back Joe Dunne (now the head coach at Cambridge United), midfielder Dunne’s progress has been hindered by a long-term cuciate ligament injury in recent months.
However, Dunne has signed a new two-year deal, and so looks sure to add to his current tally of five first-team appearances.
The 19-year--old made his League debut as a substitute in a 3-3 draw against Wigan in March, 2016, before making his full debut in a 3-0 home defeat to Burton the following month.
Fellow midfielder, Diaz Wright, the younger brother of former U’s winger Drey Wright (now at St Johnstone), has also agreed a new deal after ending the season on loan at Braintree Town, for whom he netted the winning penalty in the National League South play-off final at Hampton & Richmond.
The other five youngsters to put pen to paper are George Brown, Ryan Clampin, Eoin McKeown, Decarrey Sheriff and Sam Warde.
Mikael Mandron, who bagged 10 goals in 49 appearances in his first season with the U’s last term, looked on the point of joining League One side Peterborough at the end of last week.
Posh had agreed a fee with the U’s for Mandron, but it is believed that the 23 year-old Frenchman later rejected the move due to personal terms, although the London Road club insisted that they had put a stop to the deal themselves.
NEW CLUB SPONSOR
Off the pitch, the U’s announced that JobServe, the leading internet recruitment company, would be the new sponsors for the Community Stadium in a deal lasting for 10 years.
JobServe were founded by U’s chairman, Robbie Cowling, and John Witney in 1994 as the world’s first internet recruitment website.
Cowling said: “The new sponsorship deal is a great new deal for Colchester United, especially now the club’s rent payments have changed to being a percentage of the gate receipts.
“JobServe have agreed to pay sponsorship that will be equal to the club’s new rent meaning that the club can effectively enjoy their wonderful stadium rent free.”
Meanwhile, the U’s will entertain Millwall in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, July 24.