Colchester United’s squad looks in good shape

U's boss John McGreal. Picture: STEVE WALLER

U's boss John McGreal. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United have so far had a quiet summer, in terms of dealings in the transfer market, but their squad is still looking in good shape ahead of their second campaign at League Two level.

U’s boss John McGreal will want to add to his first-team set-up, with an experienced striker, left-sided specialist and back-up keeper likely to top his wanted list.

But he has not had to make the wholesale changes that he faced last summer, on the brink of his first full season in charge, when key players such as George Moncur, Alex Gilbey and Gavin Massey all moved to pastures new.

The trio of Richard Brindley, George Elokobi and Dean Brill have all left, after rejecting new deals, but Ryan Jackson was swiftly recruited as a replacement right-back for Brindley last week.

Furthermore, centre-halves Luke Prosser and Frankie Kent are fighting fit again, after their long-term injury lay-offs, as are midfielder Craig Slater and strikers Denny Johnstone and Kurtis Guthrie.

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The U’s have this week been linked with two young wingers, in ex-Chelsea apprentice Connor Hunte and non-league stalwart Ryan Gondoh, both aged 20.

Hunte is looking to kick-start his career at the League Two U’s, after failing to make the grade at both Chelsea and Wolves.

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A former Academy player at Chelsea, and ex-England under-17 international, Hunte was later released by the London club and signed for Championship outfit Wolves in the summer of 2014. He made a couple of league appearances for Wolves, and also played six times on loan at Stevenage last season, before the Molineux club let him go.

Now the U’s are reported to be keen on giving him another chance. Hunte is currently a free agent, and could sign for McGreal’s men after a few days training at Florence Park.

The U’s are also believed to be interested in winger-cum-attacker Gondoh,who was previously on the books of Barnet and has been tracked by several League clubs.

He played for Carshalton last season, and has also played in non-league for the likes of Met Police and Kingstonian.

Gondoh and Hunte could feature during the U’s pre-season campaign, which begins with a trip to Maldon & Tiptree this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Meanwhile, the U’s have appointed Chris Llewellyn as their new Under-18s Lead Coach. The 37-year-old former Norwich City midfielder previously worked in Swansea City’s successful academy.

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