‘It feels like the right decision’ – Mark Cousins on his exit from Colchester United

Mark Cousins gathers the ball against Bournemouth, behind Josh Thompson

Mark Cousins gathers the ball against Bournemouth, behind Josh Thompson

Mark Cousins believes that “the time was right” for him to leave Colchester United, after more than a decade with the Essex club.

U’s back-up keeper Cousins, who played second fiddle to No. 1 choice Sam Walker throughout last season, without ever making an appearance, yesterday completed a move to Dagenham & Redbridge on a two-year deal.

“It was a hard decision, but it also feels like the right decision,” insisted Cousins last night.

“It came to a point where I was just not getting games at Colchester, so I sat down with (manager) Joe (Dunne) at the end of last season and we agreed that if another club came in for me, then I could go.

“If no suitable club came in, then I would have stayed, but Dagenham is a really convenient move for me.

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“I wasn’t really looking to find another local club, but it will mean I don’t have to move house. Now I want to impress in pre-season – we are all meeting up for the first time on Wednesday – and playing in the first game of the season at home to Morecambe,” added Cousins.

A product of the U’s Academy, Cousins signed his first professional forms in 2004. The 27-year-old finally made his senior debut as a substitute in a 2-2 draw against Barnsley in the Championship on August 18, 2007.

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He went on to make 70 appearances for the U’s, 58 of them in the league.

“I suppose my main highlight was being involved in one of Colchester’s best ever starts to the season, in John Ward’s first season,” continued Cousins, with reference to the 2010-11 campaign.

“We went unbeaten for the first 11 games. Obviously winning promotion to the Championship, with a goalless draw on the final day at Yeovil (2006) was another highlight, although I didn’t play that day. But I was part of the squad and it was a great day for the whole club.

“I will miss Colchester, especially coach George (Ademole Bankole) and also Sam (Walker). It felt weird going in to pick up final bits and pieces.”

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