Ex-U's player linked with Chelsea
FORMER Colchester United striker Lloyd Opara has been linked with Premiership leaders Chelsea!Opara, like his older brother KK, never really made the grade at Layer Road, but he has caught the eye of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho this season.
By Carl Marston
FORMER Colchester United striker Lloyd Opara has been linked with Premiership leaders Chelsea!
Opara, like his older brother KK, never really made the grade at Layer Road, but he has caught the eye of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho this season.
Enfield-born Opara came up through the youth ranks at Colchester, but the 6ft 1in striker never started a senior game. Instead, he made nine appearances as a substitute before moving on to Cambridge United three years ago.
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It didn't work out for Opara at Cambridge either, and he went on to play in non-league circles, albeit for a brief stint at League One side Swindon.
Now, though, the 22-year-old is scoring at such an impressive rate for his current club, Cheshunt, who play in the Southern Premier League, that Chelsea have offered him a trial.
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Club owner Roman Abramovich will certainly not have to dip too far into his wallet, which is perhaps just as well following the Blues recent exit from the Champions' League.
Opara had been on trial at Peterborough United, after scoring 23 goals for Cheshunt this term, but Posh manager Steve Bleasdale revealed that he has been usurped by Mourinho.
“Lloyd has done well in training this week and we were set to sign him on Wednesday. But Chelsea want him to go there for a trial period, so we can't stand in his way,” confirmed Bleasdale.
“I suppose we have been pipped to a player by Chelsea, but I don't think we could compete with them financially. Lloyd has said how much he enjoyed training with us, so if it doesn't work out at Chelsea then maybe he can return here,” he added.
Opara dropped into non-league with Grays Athletic, Braintree and Hornchurch, following his spell with Cambridge in 2003. He has also been on the books of St Albans, Bishop's Stortford and Redbridge.
n Tickets for the second leg of the LDV Vans Trophy southern area final, between Colchester United and Swansea City, have gone on general sale.
The U's will host the second leg on Tuesday, March 14, after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat in South Wales on Tuesday night. The tie is therefore nicely poised, with the winners guaranteed an appearance at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium against northern champions Carlisle.
Tickets are priced at £17 for adults and £10 for concessions, while for standing it is £14 for adults and £8 for concessions. Telephone the Layer Road ticket office on 0871 2262161 for booking details.