Clean bill of health for U’s

Dillon Barnes, praised by his captain Luke Prosser. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Dillon Barnes, praised by his captain Luke Prosser. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

This time last season, Colchester United were already feeling the effects of long-term injuries, with both club skipper Luke Prosser and key left-sided specialist Brennan Dickenson stuck in the treatment room for months on end.

Fortunately, though, the U’s have avoided a repeat of that woe at the start of this campaign, and boss John McGreal therefore has a fully-fit squad at his disposal.

No injuries mean that competition is fierce, even for a place on the substitutes’ bench, especially since Kane Vincent-Young signed his new contract on Monday and so is added to the squad tomorrow, for the visit of Port Vale.

“Everyone is fit and well, which is good news,” enthused McGreal.

“And Kane (Vincent-Young) will come into the 18-man squad. We have been carrying about 20 players throughout pre-season, to give us those options.”

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The only player not fully-fit is striker Luke Norris, recruited from Swindon this summer, although he could be unleashed from the bench.

“Luke (Norris) is still playing catch-up, with regards his training,” revealed McGreal. “He played 45 minutes for the Under-23s on Monday, because we felt that he would benefit from that, before going into Tuesday’s intense training session. He needs that extra work at the moment.”

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Young keeper, Dillon Barnes, 22, is set to make only his second home league appearance, after keeping a clean-sheet at Notts County last weekend.

“You know what you are going to get, with Dillon (Barnes). It was a great clean-sheet for him, but this division throws up something different every week,” said McGreal.

“He will be pleased with his performance last week, but that’s all done and dusted now. This weekend is a different challenge.”


COLCHESTER: D Barnes, Eastman, Prosser, Keith, Jackson, Lapslie, Pell, Dickenson, Szmodics, Collins, Nouble, Mandron, Comley, Vincent-Young, Norris, Senior, Wright, A Barnes & Ross.

PORT VALE: Brown, Gibbons, Rawlinson, Smith, Montano, Worrall, Joyce, Oyeleke, Hannant, Pope, Miller, Dodds, Tonge, Legge, Quigley, Kanu, Vassell & Hornby.

Referee: Matthew Donohue (Manchester).

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