'I'm excited by a fresh start and a fresh challenge' - Skuse on Ipswich exit and Colchester move

Cole Skuse has joined Colchester United after leaving Ipswich Town

Cole Skuse has joined Colchester United after leaving Ipswich Town - Credit: Colchester United

Cole Skuse is excited for a fresh start after signing for Colchester United following his Ipswich Town release. 

Skuse’s eight-year career at Portman Road came to an end earlier this month as he was released by manager Paul Cook along with fellow stalwart Luke Chambers, with the midfielder quickly contacted by the U’s once he had become a free agent. 

He’s signed a two-year deal with the Essex club and, while admitting he leaves Ipswich with a ‘tinge of sadness’, is pleased to be fixed up quickly as he continues his career at the Jobserve Community Stadium. 

“It’s come around very quickly after I found out my fate at the tail end of the season at Ipswich,” Skuse said. 

“Colchester were very quick to move to get a deal done and I’m forever grateful and delighted to sign for Colchester. 

“I was at Ipswich for eight seasons in total and I would say I’m disappointed, with a real tinge of sadness, to be leaving a club I’ve been at for a long time with the family very settled in the area. 

“It’s obviously a bit of sadness but I also leave with a sense of excitement because I’ve always said I want to continue playing. There’s a new challenge ahead so there’s a real mix and a range of emotions involved. 

“Would I liked to have stayed at Ipswich? Maybe. But its maybe got to a point where I needed a fresh start and a fresh challenge and I’ve come to Colchester to try and bring all I can to the table here and help us improve on what the club will see as a disappointing season last season.” 

The U’s have used a high number of young players in recent years and Skuse is looking forward to sharing his experiences with them, while also contributing himself on the pitch as he links up with former Ipswich team-mates Tommy Smith and Dean Gerken. 

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“The conversations I’ve had were about me coming on board and not only help the young lads but I’d like to think (I can contribute on the pitch myself),” Skuse said. 

“I missed the end of the season with an injury but it’s an isolated injury, not an ongoing thing, and I’m feeling physically very good.  

“I’ve committed to the club for the next couple of years so it’s not just about helping the young lads but also hopefully playing a massive part in helping drive the club forward. 

“After sitting down with Hayden (Mullins, head coach) and John De Souza (technical director), I like the project that’s in place and that’s excitement. 

“I’ve known Gerks (Dean Gerken), Tommy (Smith) and Darren Smith the goalkeeping coach, while I’m very good friends with Wayne Brown (former Colchester head coach) and they all speak glowingly about the place.” 

Skuse’s final season at Ipswich was ruined by a freak knee injury, suffered in training, which restricted him to just four appearances. The veteran, though, has no concerns over his fitness. 

“It was (frustrating) but it’s obviously going to be magnified by outside sources looking in,” he said. 

“But people in the know and within the club and at Colchester know it’s a freak incident, a freak slip in training that could have happened to anyone. 

“When you get to my age people are going to ask questions. Is he done? But that’s far from the case. 

“At the time I didn’t know it would be my last season at Ipswich, but to miss so much of it was a huge disappointment. 

“But I feel really physically good and I’m looking forward to playing at Colchester.” 

Colchester are understood to have interest in other former Ipswich players this summer, with discussions ongoing regarding potential moves for Luke Chambers and Freddie Sears.