‘I did feel quite old!’ – Colchester United’s new recruit, Darren Ambrose

Darren Ambrose, interviewed by the press on Thursday. Picture from Colchester United FC.

Darren Ambrose, interviewed by the press on Thursday. Picture from Colchester United FC. - Credit: Archant

Darren Ambrose is ready to inspire Colchester United’s young guns, after signing a one-year deal with the U’s on Thursday afternoon.

The experienced Ambrose was plying his trade with Ipswich Town in the Championship last term, having spent his early career in the Premier League with Town (first spell), Newcastle United and Charlton.

He has been a free agent this summer, despite staying at Portman Road to work on his fitness in pre-season, and is now relishing the chance to lead by example just 16 miles down the A12, with the League One U’s.

Ambrose’s arrival doubles the number of players over the age of 30 on the U’s books – the only other is fellow 31-year-old Chris Porter, the new club captain – so the Harlow-born attacker has instantly become a ‘wise old head’ in a young camp.

“It’s a very young squad,” admittted Ambrose, after his first training session with the U’s.

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“In fact, it was like a youth club, coming in here!

“Stepping into the building today, I did feel quite old walking through the door. I’m not used to these sort of experiences.

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“I wasn’t expecting it, but there is some good young talent, and a lot of confidence in the camp.

“I thought that spirits might be a bit low, after last season’s struggles, but that isn’t the case at all.

“In my view, Colchester United is an up-and-coming club, that’s for sure,.

“I feel we will do a lot better than the team did last season, when it was a good achievement to stay up on the last day.

“I’ve had a discussion with the management. They obviously want me to have a voice, and to help the young players along.

“But they are not the sort of players who need a lot of guidance, because there’s a lot of talent here.

“That’s not surprising to me, because I remember that when Elliott Hewitt came back to Ipswich last March (from his loan spell at Colchester) he said that they were playing well, but just couldn’t pick up a point.

“There were a few times last season when the team couldn’t pick up a point, in four-game and six-game batches. We need to change that, and even picking up three or four points in those sort of lean runs will help us.

“In fact, if we can get a good start, then we’ll be on the up,” added Ambrose.

Ambrose will go straight into the U’s squad for the League One opener at home to Blackpool this afternoon.

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