No sitting around for Aidy

NEW Colchester United manager, Aidy Boothroyd, wasted no time in completing his first signing.The 38-year-old beat Tuesday afternoon's transfer deadline to secure the loan signing of midfielder John-Joe O'Toole, even though he was not officially unveiled as the new Colchester boss until yesterday morning!There can't be that many instances of a new player signing, even before the new boss was officially appointed.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer, O'Toole story

By Carl Marston

NEW Colchester United manager, Aidy Boothroyd, wasted no time in completing his first signing.


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The 38-year-old beat Tuesday afternoon's transfer deadline to secure the loan signing of midfielder John-Joe O'Toole, even though he was not officially unveiled as the new Colchester boss until yesterday morning!

There can't be that many instances of a new player signing, even before the new boss was officially appointed. But Boothroyd was delighted to strengthen his squad, in the build-up to his first game in charge at Southampton on Saturday, with the addition of Watford midfielder O'Toole. He will be with the U's until the start of January.

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Republic of Ireland under-21 international O'Toole is a free-scoring, attacking midfielder who scored eight goals before Christmas last season.

“I was lucky enough to work with John-Joe at Watford,” enthused Boothroyd.

“He scored a lot of goals for me, but he hasn't been playing a lot at Watford recently. Sometimes, a player has a quiet period in his career.

“So it's the right time to bring him in. It's a short-term signing, but I'm hoping that he will galvanise us.”

O'Toole has scored 12 goals in 66 senior appearances for the Hornets. That included one against Colchester in a 3-2 win at Layer Road in the U's second season in the Championship, and also a late winner against visiting Ipswich during the first week of last term.

The 21-year-old had a loan spell at Sheffield United towards the end of last season, before suffering an ankle injury in training just before the Blades' play-off campaign.

O'Toole said: “This gives me a chance to get playing again and get back on the pitch to do my thing. I know him (Boothroyd) well, and I know what he expects from me, so I am looking forward to the challenge.

“Colchester have a fantastic stadium and I am really impressed. It has been frustrating not playing, but this will be a great place to get up and running again.”

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