It’s always a privilege to play for the U’s - Kem Izzet

KEM Izzet has declared it to be “a great privilege,” to have spent the last decade at Colchester United.

Club captain Izzet is on the brink of celebrating his 400th league game, in a U’s shirt, a landmark he could even reach tomorrow against visiting Preston North End.

Izzet is struggling with a bruised ankle, incurred during Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Oldham. But he is hopeful of being declared fit, and then, if selected, following in the footsteps of team-mate Karl Duguid.

Club stalwart Duguid celebrated his 400th league game for the U’s during last month’s 2-1 win at Brentford. The 33-year-old is intent on playing a lot more games for his beloved U’s, as is midfielder Izzet, who is two years younger.

“When I first came to the club, I wasn’t thinking about how long I’d be here,” explained Izzet, who signed from Charlton in the Spring of 2001.


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“You don’t look at it like that. I just wanted to play first team football and see where that took me.

“But I’ve stayed here for more than 10 years now. I’ve racked up a few games and it’s been a real privilege playing here.

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“I’ve been totally happy at Colchester. My family are happy in the area and I am happy with the way the club is moving forward, and how we have moved continuously forward since I’ve been here,” added Izzet.

London-born Izzet, who came up through the youth ranks at Charlton but never played a senior game for the Addicks, has certainly enjoyed an eventful last 11 years with the U’s.

Promotion from League One, followed by two years in the Championship, was an obvious highlight, but Izzet insists that the move to the new Weston Homes Community Stadium, in 2008, was the club’s biggest achievement.

“The move to the new ground has been very important,” insisted Izzet.

“I know some fans still want to be back at Layer Road, but if you want to progress as a football club then you need a stadium like this.

“We are now in a fantastic stadium, and about to move into a fantastic facility training-wise.”

Izzet will face a fitness test, ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Preston, although manager John Ward has no other new injury concerns.

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