I'm no footie fan says U's star
FLYING winger Simon Hackney may be “ambitious” as a player, but he confesses that he isn't even a big football fan!Hackney impressed on his full debut for Colchester United on Tuesday night, helping the U's to a vital 1-0 win over Stockport County, which ironically is his home town club.
Flying Simon keeps feet on the ground
By Carl Marston
FLYING winger Simon Hackney may be “ambitious” as a player, but he confesses that he isn't even a big football fan!
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Hackney impressed on his full debut for Colchester United on Tuesday night, helping the U's to a vital 1-0 win over Stockport County, which ironically is his home town club.
The 25-year-old is keen to build on this result, and his own individual performance, during the next couple of months to strengthen the U's faint hopes of making the play-offs.
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But off the pitch, he is far from being football-mad!
“It might sound strange, but I'm not a big football fan,” insisted Hackney.
“Playing the game is enough for me. I don't go home afterwards and watch lots of games, and I'm not one for statistics.
“I don't particularly enjoy watching football, but then I am a Manchester City fan! I might go home and watch a bit of Sky Sports News, but that's about it for me.
“There are more important things outside football,” added Hackney, who has a strong Christian faith.
Late starter Hackney did not actually become a professional footballer until four years ago, when he signed for Carlisle, from non-league Woodley Sports, in February, 2005.
He became a big hit with Cumbrians fans, both for his dazzling wing play and his knack of scoring goals at a healthy rate for a winger - he netted 17 goals in 115 league appearances.
But now he is looking to further his career at the Community Stadium.
“The main reason for me coming down here was ambition,” revealed Hackney.
“I knew the likes of Paul Reid and Marc Tierney from their spells at Carlisle, and of course I was in the Carlisle side that got thumped 5-0 earlier in the season (October 25). Colchester showed that day that when they are in form, they are a very good side.
“I've come here to better myself, and it was nice to get back into the swing of things with a start against Stockport.
“I have had to be patient, which is not surprising because the team had been doing very well when I first signed. But I've settled in well, and have got used to my new surroundings.
“I was happy with the way that I played against Stockport. My calf tightened a little during the second half, which is why I came off, but I've been having treatment and I should be fine for this weekend (home game against Hartlepool).
“The key factor for me is to get fully match-fit. That will come with games.”
Tuesday night was actually Hackney's first start for three months, following his last full outing for former club Carlisle in a 1-0 defeat at Millwall on November 11.
He made five more appearances as a substitute but, frustrated by his lack of opportunities, he completed a �105,000 move to the U's last month.
United are currently eight points adrift of the play-off zone, with 14 games remaining. They also have four tough away games next month, all at clubs vying for promotion themselves.
But that doesn't dampen the enthusiasm of Hackney. He said: “I definitely think that we can still make the play-offs.
“We still have to play many of the sides above us, so if we win then they lose.
“I would like to score a share of goals myself, because that is an important part of my game.
“But it's also good to finally be playing in the same side as a big striker (Clive Platt). I have something to aim for, which I haven't really had before in my career.
“Clive can hold up the ball and is a big presence up front, which helps the likes of me and Mark Yeates (fellow winger),” added Hackney.
Lone target man Platt was flanked by Hackney and Yeates against Stockport, and manager Paul Lambert looks set to persist with that formation against Hartlepool tomorrow.