Dillon Barnes deserves to retain his Colchester United place

Dillon Barnes gathers the ball during his Football League debut against Swindon last Saturday. Pictu

Dillon Barnes gathers the ball during his Football League debut against Swindon last Saturday. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Dillon Barnes deserves another chance to impress, at tomorrow afternoon’s sun-soaked (according to the weather forecast) end-of-season League Two encounter at Exeter City.

Barnes kept a clean-sheet on his Football League debut last weekend, in Colchester United’s 0-0 home draw against Swindon, and the 22-year-old would love a second bite at the cherry, down in Devon.

And with regular No. 1 Sam Walker’s long-term future still up in the air, with the 26-year-old looking set to move to pastures new despite being offered a new contract, it would be ideal for Barnes to keep goal again tomorrow.

That would make sense, whether Barnes is seen as a potential No. 1 for 2018-19, or as a back-up keeper.

“Dillon (Barnes) played well last week, and he has continued to perform well in training,” explained U’s boss John McGreal.

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“So I have two keepers at my disposal for this weekend, and I will take my time before deciding who to play.

“You have to produce elite performances at this level, when opportunity knocks. You have to perform well in training as well as on Saturdays.

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“Dillon warranted his chance against Swindon (0-0 draw last weekend). I’ve know since my days as the under-23s coach. He’s grown into a good specimen, but at 22 he is still young for a keeper and still has a lot to learn.

“As regards Sam (Walker), we have not had an answer yet. We are still in dialogue. We’ll see what the beginning of next week brings,” added McGreal.

The U’s boss also handed a League debut to wide-attacker Ryan Gondoh, formerly of Maldon & Tiptree, last Saturday. A new recruit to this weekend’s squad is 17-year-old winger Ollie Sims.


EXETER: Pym, Sweeney, Storey, Croll, Wilson, Taylor, James, Tillson, Boateng, Stockley, Simpson, Edwards, Harley, Archibald-Henville, Brunt, Jay, Moxey, Seaborne, Moore-Taylor, Woodman & Jones.

COLCHESTER: Barnes or Walker, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Comley, Stevenson, Murray, Senior, Mandron, Wright, Lapslie, Szmodics, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Gondoh, Issa & Sims.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

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