Duguid leaves U's after 14 years

IT WAS a day that many Colchester United fans believed would never come - the day that Karl Duguid signed for another club.

Carl Marston

IT WAS a day that many Colchester United fans believed would never come - the day that Karl Duguid signed for another club.

Skipper Duguid, dubbed “Mr Colchester United” during his 14 years' loyal service with the U's, yesterday signed for Championship club Plymouth Argyle in a two-year deal, for an undisclosed fee.

Ironically, therefore, just as the U's era at Layer Road has come to an end, with the move to the new Weston Homes Community Stadium for next season, so Duguid has chosen the same time to embrace a new challenge.

“I feel that I have achieved everything I could have, personally, as a player with Colchester," revealed 30-year-old Duguid.

“The fact that I was at Colchester for so long meant that it was a difficult decision to leave. I have grown up with so many people at the club.

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“But in another way it was an easy decision, because the Championship is where I want to be, and Plymouth have a lot of potential.

“I think it's quite apt that I've left now, so that I can say I've spent my whole Colchester career playing at Layer Road. It's a natural way for it to end.

“I don't think that if Colchester had still been a Championship club it would have made any difference to my decision, because last season was the first time I had felt that it was the right time to move on,” added Duguid, who actually started playing for the under-15s at Colchester.

Former youth teamer Duguid graduated to the first team during the 1995-96 season, making his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw at Hereford United on December 9, 1995. Steve Wignall was the manager and the U's were in Endsleigh League Division Three.

He went on to make 438 senior appearances for the U's, celebrating his 400th outing on the opening day of last season at Sheffield United.

U's chairman and owner, Robbie Cowling, said: “Karl (Duguid) has been a loyal servant to the club and he is now coming towards the end of his career. He wants the opportunity to play in the Championship and deserves his chance.”

Duguid's surprise departure means that 11 players from last season's squad have now left. Danny Granville, Kevin Watson, Luke Guttridge, Adam Virgo (loanee), Bela Balogh (loanee), Tom Devaux and Tom Webb were all released, while Teddy Sheringham and Aidan Davison both retired, and winger Kevin McLeod opted to sign for Brighton & Hove Albion earlier this month.

Winger Mark Yeates is also reported to be unsettled, with a move to Crystal Palace stalling after a failed medical last week.

Meanwhile, the U's visit to Tranmere Rovers has been moved to a Friday night (September 26, kick-off 7.45pm), to avoid a clash with the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool on the Saturday.

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