New-boy Christian proves the man

COLCHESTER United new boy Christian Ribeiro certainly proved he could swim after being thrown in at the deep end at Gillingham.As of the middle of last week the 20-year-old Bristol City right-back wasn't even aware he was available for loan.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United new boy Christian Ribeiro certainly proved he could swim after being thrown in at the deep end at Gillingham.

As of the middle of last week the 20-year-old Bristol City right-back wasn't even aware he was available for loan.


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Three days later he was putting in a man-of-the-match debut performance for the U's having only met his new team mates the previous night.

“This all came about very quickly,” admitted the Welshman, whose father's parents are Portuguese.

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“I didn't even know I was available for loan, but I got a phone call on Thursday telling me about this opportunity, I had a quick think about it and then said on Friday that yes I would like to.

“I drove myself across to meet the rest of the team at their hotel in Kent last night. We had some food and then they made me sing a song, which was a bit of a nightmare.”

The rush certainly didn't phase the young full-back thoughas he put in a promising display down the right, constantly providing an attacking outlet for the U's.

Ribeiro snapped his cruciate ligaments on his Bristol City debut in a Carling Cup tie against Peterborough at the start of last season.

The injury meant he missed the whole of last season before being farmed out on loan to League One side Stockport County at the start of this one.

There Ribeiro lost all seven of the games he played for the Hatters, but it was his impressive display at the Weston Homes Community Stadium during that spell which convinced U's boss Aidy Boothroyd to snap him up.

“It's quite nice to come somewhere and get something other than a defeat!” admitted Ribeiro. “I can't remember the last time I won a game!

“It's only now, 18 months after I suffered my injury, that I'm getting back to where I was.

“I really enjoyed brushing the cobwebs away today and I'm surprised how fit I felt seeing as I haven't played for a few weeks.

“I've been on the bench seven or eight times for Bristol City but not quite got back into the team, so I'm hoping I can come here and really boost my confidence by winning a few games.”

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