Duguid proved a gem for Foley

WHEN Steve Foley unearthed a gem in Karl Duguid few people realised just what a diamond he would turn out to be for Colchester United.Foley, who spent 25 years at Layer Road from an apprentice through to caretaker manager (an astonishing five times) playing at all levels, is now the technical skills coach at Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

WHEN Steve Foley unearthed a gem in Karl Duguid few people realised just what a diamond he would turn out to be for Colchester United.

Foley, who spent 25 years at Layer Road from an apprentice through to caretaker manager (an astonishing five times) playing at all levels, is now the technical skills coach at Ipswich Town.

During his time in Essex he helped develop many young players, including Mark Kinsella, Martin Grainger and, at the time, a rather weedy looking Duguid who Foley was advised not to keep on.

But the Blues skipper has now played more than 430 games for the U's, played at Wembley twice and helped them to three promotions, and someone Foley is convinced can help them bounce back if the worst does happen as expected.

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Foley said: “A few people advised me not to take him because he was slight on yet I could see he was comfortable with the ball and in my eyes I felt he would be half decent.

“No one knew what he would go on to achieve for Colchester which is excellent.

“It is full credit to him for what he has gone on to do.

“Karl has that arrogant streak in him that top footballers have and you need to have at times to survive the modern game.

“He is a battler and someone, like the manager George Williams, who knows how to get them back up. He has won promotion before and can do it again.”

Foley admits to having a heavy heart at the prospect of relegating the U's but knows there is no room for sentiment today.

He said: “There is no sympathy in football but after spending 25 years there, whether we will win lose or draw, there will be emotions.

“But we are going there for the three points and if the shoe were on the other foot Colchester would be doing exactly the same.

“You get 46 points at the beginning of the season as every game starts 0-0. Over the course of the season if you give away points you have a chance to be relegated. Colchester have given away a lot of points and that is why they are where they are.”

derek.davis@archant.co.uk

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