Dunne’s happy return to Priestfield

Joe Dunne, who will be back at his old club Gillingham for the first game of the campaign

Joe Dunne, who will be back at his old club Gillingham for the first game of the campaign

The opening day of the 2013-14 season will be an extra special one, for manager Joe Dunne.

Not only will it be the first time that Dunne has led out a team at the start of a season – he was appointed at the end of last September – but the opposition are also his former club, Gillingham.

The U’s will travel to Preisfield on the opening day of the season on August 3, before hosting their first league game of the season the following weekend against newly-promoted Port Vale.

Dunne began his professional career at Gillingham, rattling up 115 league appearances for the Kent club between 1990 and ‘96.

The Dubliner then moved onto Colchester, where his career as a trusty right-back flourished, initially under manager Steve Wignall, including promotion via the play-offs in 1998.

Dunne is currently in Ireland, putting his squad through their paces at a training complex outside Dublin.

Opening day hosts Gillingham were crowned League Two champions last season.

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The last time the U’s played at Priestfield, on the opening day of a campaign, they lost 2-1 (August 6, 2005), with Neil Danns on the score-sheet.

But nine months later, Phil Parkinson’s men clinched promotion to the Championship!

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