Ex-Town keeper Gerken set for a return to U’s

A fresh-faced Dean Gerken, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Brentford, 15 years ago, on Ap

A fresh-faced Dean Gerken, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Brentford, 15 years ago, on April 12, 2004

Former Ipswich Town keeper Dean Gerken is all set to return to where his career all started – at Colchester United.

Dean Gerken, then aged 18, on his U's debut at Brentford's Griffin Park. He is set to return to the

Dean Gerken, then aged 18, on his U's debut at Brentford's Griffin Park. He is set to return to the Essex club this week.

Gerken went down in U's folklore when keeping a clean-sheet in a 0-0 draw at Yeovil Town on the final day of the 2005-06 season, a point which secured the Essex club promotion to the Championship for the first and only time in their history.

The Rochford-born keeper went on to star in the Championship, with Geraint Williams' U's team, before later moving on to Bristol City and then Ipswich in the summer of 2013.

Gerken chalked up 113 league appearances for Town, often vying for the No. 1 position with Bartosz Bialkowski, before finally being released at the end of last season.

Now the 34-year-old, who remains a free agent, is expected to return to the U's for the coming season - he has been training with John McGreal's men in pre-season.

Dean Gerken, right, and fellow Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski applaud fans after the home match agai

Dean Gerken, right, and fellow Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski applaud fans after the home match against Sheffield United. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

If an expected deal is completed, later this week, then Gerken will be back at the club where he made his professional debut, more than 15 years ago, a 3-2 defeat at Brentford on April 12, 2004, when he was a young understudy to first-teamers Simon Brown and Richard McKinney, and when Phil Parkinson was the manager.

Gerken went on to make 109 league appearances in his first stay with the U's, often contesting a starting berth with the experience Aidan Davison.

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His clean-sheet at Yeovil, to secure promotion to the second flight 13 years ago, contained two excellent one-on-one saves to deny the Glovers a goal.

And just a week earlier, Gerken had also kept a vital clean-sheet in the U's last home game of the campaign, a 2-0 win over Rotherham.

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