Old U's boys faring well

SEVERAL members of the Colchester United old guard will be gracing the Premier League stage next season.

Carl Marston

SEVERAL members of the Colchester United old guard will be gracing the Premier League stage next season.

And a couple of other names from that Phil Parkinson era suffered mixed fortunes over the Bank Holiday weekend at Wembley.

At least four of Parkinson's old team will be in the top flight next term. Hull City's escape from relegation, thanks to Newcastle United's defeat to Aston Villa on D-Day on Sunday, means that the Tigers duo of Richard Garcia and Craig Fagan will both remain in the top flight.

There they will be joined by two of their former U's team-mates, Chris Iwelumo and George Elokobi, who were both key members of Wolves' Championship title-winning team.

Meanwhile, Garry Richards, who was also a part of the U's promotion winning squad of 2005-06, celebrated another promotion in the colours of Gillingham in the League Two play-off final on Saturday.

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Centre-half Richards played the full 90 minutes in the Gills' 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town, and so will now be looking forward to facing two of his old clubs in League One next season - Colchester and Southend.

But there was no play-off joy for Greg Halford in yesterday's Championship showdown. Halford, who impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Sunderland for the season, operated in the Blades midfield during the 1-0 defeat by Burnley.

However, Halford is still currently on the books of Sunderland, and so could be another ex-U's man to figure in the Premier League in 2009-10.

One level down in the Championship, a handful of other stalwarts from the U's old promotion team will be plying their trade next season.

Centre-half Wayne Brown is set to marshal the back four at Leicester City, having signed permanently on a two-year deal last month, after an initial loan spell with the Foxes. They went up from League One as champions.

Brown will come across some familiar faces - ex-U's club captain Karl Duguid is still at Plymouth, midfielder Neil Danns remains with Crystal Palace, fellow defender Liam Chilvers is on Preston's books and Jamal Campbell-Ryce is a flying winger at Barnsley.

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