Old boys and old targets

WHILE Colchester United were recording their third victory in the last four matches against Cheltenham last weekend, several of their recent transfer targets, and many former players, were in action elsewhere.

Carl Marston

WHILE Colchester United were recording their third victory in the last four matches against Cheltenham last weekend, several of their recent transfer targets, and many former players, were in action elsewhere.

The trio of Rob Jones, Mike Williamson and Simon Hackney, who have all been the subject of failed Colchester bids this month, featured prominently for their respective clubs.

Below we catch up on these U's recent targets, and an assortment of their ex-players.

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ROB JONES: The 6ft 7ins centre-half played the full 90 minutes as Hibernian cruised to a 2-0 win over St Mirren at Easter Road. The U's had a �100,000 bid for Jones turned down.

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MIKE WILLIAMSON: The Wycombe Wanderers centre-half also played a whole game, although it ended in disappointment as the Chairboys suffered their first league defeat of the season. The League Two leaders were beaten 1-0 by visiting Grimsby Town, who in the process recorded only their third win from 24 league games. United were unsuccessful with their �100,000 offer for Williamson.

SIMON HACKNEY: The U's had a five-figure bid (about �25,000) for the Carlisle winger rejected last week, just a day before United landed fellow winger Lewis Gobern on loan from Wolves. Hackney has been struggling to break into the Cumbrians' starting line-up, but he appeared as a 28th minute substitute for Jeff Smith, who suffered a groin injury, in the 3-2 home win over MK Dons.


JAMIE CURETON: The Championships' Golden Boot winner of 2006-07 (with the U's!) scored the cheeky second goal in Norwich City's 4-0 demolition of Barnsley. And the Canaries striker then had some strong words to say about former boss Glenn Roeder. He insisted: “Players felt the manager (Roeder) didn't have faith in the team. We weren't allowed to play with freedom but under caretaker manager Bryan Gunn I felt wanted again. It felt like a debut again. To be shipped out on loan at my age felt like the end.”

BARRY CONLON: The big target man, who had a season-long loan with the U's in 2000-01, scored his ninth goal of the season for Bradford City in their 1-1 home draw against Accrington. The Bantams are gunning for promotion from League Two.

SIMON BROWN: The ex-U's goalkeeper was an unused substitute for Brentford in their 1-1 draw against Notts County at Griffin Park. Brown recently returned from a loan spell at Darlington.

SAM STOCKLEY: The full-back was another to be stuck on a substitutes' bench for 90 minutes last Saturday. He failed to figure for Port Vale in their 1-1 home draw against promotion-chasing Shrewsbury.

KEVIN MCLEOD: The ex-U's left winger, who left last summer, was substituted after 70 minutes of Brighton's 2-0 home defeat to Leeds United.

ADAM VIRGO: The Brighton utility player was suspended for the visit of his old club on Boxing Day, which the U's won 2-1. But he played the full 90 minutes in the defeat by Leeds.

NEIL DANNS: The Crystal Palace midfielder watched Ipswich Town's 4-1 win at Selhurst Park while sitting on the substitutes' bench. He did not get on the pitch.

KARL DUGUID: The former U's stalwart failed to prevent Plymouth from sliding to a 2-0 defeat at ever-improving Nottingham Forest.

CHRIS BARKER: He has been a regular along with former U's team-mate Duguid at Plymouth this season, since his move from QPR. The left-back again started against Forest.

KEVIN LISBIE: Last season's U's leading scorer netted his seventh goal of the campaign for Ipswich in the win at Palace.

GREG HALFORD: On loan at Sheffield United from Sunderland for the season, the tall right-back set up the Blades' second goal in their 2-0 win at Watford, ironically for ex-Hornets favourite Darius Henderson.

THOMAS PINAULT: The Frenchman was on the bench as Crawley Town lost 1-0 at Mansfield last weekend. He has been given leave from his footballing duties this week, due to a serious family illness.

GUY BRANSTON: The former U's centre-half (two loan spells in 1998) is looking forward to Kettering Town's glamorous FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Premier League side Fulham this weekend. Branston helped Kettering to keep a clean-sheet in a 1-0 win over Salisbury.

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