Cousins set to sign new deal

COLCHESTER United keeper Mark Cousins, whose current contract expires this summer, is on the brink of signing a new deal.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United keeper Mark Cousins, whose current contract expires this summer, is on the brink of signing a new deal.

Cousins is close to putting pen to paper on a new contract, and is looking forward to contesting the No. 1 spot in the U's team for next season.

“I'll hopefully have something sorted out with the club soon. I'm not that complicated for it to take too long!” revealed Cousins.

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“I've been in talks with the manager (Paul Lambert), and he wants me to stay. I should be all signed up in the next week or two.

“We all had our set times to see the manager on Monday, and my chat with him went really well. I'm pleased to be staying at Colchester United, and I'm looking forward to next season,” added Cousins.

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Chelmsford-born Cousins had not started a first team game before this most recent campaign. His only two appearances had been from the bench at home to Barnsley and then away at Bristol City.

But he had more opportunities to shine in 2008-09, especially under Lambert following the Scotsman's appointment to the U's hot seat in mid-October.

The 22-year-old started five games during the first half of the campaign, making his full debut in the 1-0 win at Millwall in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. In fact, his first three starts, all in the Trophy, yielded three clean-sheets.

But it was Lambert who gave him his longest run in the team, following loanee Jimmy Walker's return to West Ham. He played eight games in a row, with Dean Gerken on the bench, before the latter returned for the last five games of the season.

“I had an idea a couple of weeks ago that the manager wanted me to stay. It was also the agreement that he would give both me and Dean a chance during the run-in,” added Cousins. Gerken is still under contract with the U's.

“Last season was a big one for me. I played 13 games, so it was my first proper season.

“Now I want to kick on from here. I want to come back and fight for the No. 1 spot,” added Cousins.

Meanwhile, the U's confirmed another of their pre-season friendlies yesterday. They will visit Tiptree United on Saturday, July 11. They have a big game against Aston Villa on July 21 and will play at Ipswich Town for Fabian Wilnis' Testimonial on July 25.

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