Davison tips U's manager for England

COLCHESTER United keeper Aidan Davison has tipped Phil Parkinson as a future England manager.U's boss Parkinson will concentrate on preparing his side for their first-ever season in the Championship, after the Essex club last week refused him permission to speak to Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Derby County, all of whom are on the look-out for a new manager.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United keeper Aidan Davison has tipped Phil Parkinson as a future England manager.

U's boss Parkinson will concentrate on preparing his side for their first-ever season in the Championship, after the Essex club last week refused him permission to speak to Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Derby County, all of whom are on the look-out for a new manager.

Davison is looking forward to working with Parkinson again next term, but he knows how lucky the U's are to have such a talented manager.

“I've worked under many managers during the course of my career, and Phil (Parkinson) is up there with the best of them,” insisted Davison last night.

“I definitely think he will go on to be a manager in the Premiership, and I don't see why he can't end up being the manager of England in a few years' time.

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“That's how impressed I've been with Phil over the last two years that I've worked with him. He's a very talented young manager, and I know that he's highly ambitious.

“I'm not surprised that other clubs have already expressed an interest in him. Colchester United are very lucky to have him, but it's a two-way thing, because the likes of Marie Partner (Chief Executive) have also done a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

“Phil is a good manager and a good person. I'm convinced that he will go on to manage at the highest level,” added Davison.

Experienced keeper Davison, who celebrated his 38th birthday this month, enjoyed an outstanding season in helping the U's to win automatic promotion from League One.

Davison's contract had been up for renewal this summer, and he had no hesitation in signing a new deal last week. The U's promotion to the second tier of the Football League was a big factor in his decision-making.

“Winning promotion to the Championship played a big part. I wanted to finish my playing career at that level,” revealed Davison.

“I'm looking forward to making another contribution to the team next season. I've really enjoyed the last two years.

“Not many people gave us a chance of winning promotion last season, but we had the belief that we would at least make the play-offs. Perhaps automatic promotion was more of a surprise.

“We don't fear next season, because we have a dynamic, fit young squad. We have players with a lot of promise. You just have to be careful of the sort of players with a lot of craft and flair who can win a game with a touch of brilliance,” added Davison.

Sedgfield-born Davison arrived at Layer Road during the summer of 2004 to sign for his ninth professional club, after spells with Notts County, Bury, Millwall, Bolton, Hull City (on loan), Bradford City (twice, including appearances in the Premiership), Grimsby Town (twice) and Sheffield United.

He missed only six league games last term, three during August due to suspension, and the last three after contracting a severe bout of food poisoning.

Dean Gerken, who benefits from Davison's skills as a goalkeeping coach, proved a more than capable deputy, especially during the last three fixtures at Bournemouth (2-1 win), against Rotherham (2-0 win) and at Yeovil (0-0 draw).

“I think that Dean (Gerken) is amongst the best, if not the best, for his age group,” continued Davison.

“The last three games were massive, both for him and the club. They were the three biggest games in the club's history, and I was very impressed with how he handled it, both physically and mentally.

“He was superb at Yeovil on the final day of the season. His decision-making was excellent. It will be a good experience for him to now play at a higher level in the Championship, where I'm sure he will get more chances.

“They are a great bunch of lads at Colchester, and I have really enjoyed working with Dean (Gerken).

“The food poisoning knocked me for six at the end of last season. I lost more than a stone in weight, and I lost all of my strength. But I'm now eating well and I've already started to train again,” concluded Davison.

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