Pat Baldwin admits he is “devastated” to leave Colchester
PAT Baldwin has spoken frankly about his move from Colchester United to Southend, which was completed on Friday.
After 10 years with the U’s, since his arrival from Chelsea in 2002, Baldwin has finally moved on.
And although he is looking forward to a new challenge at League Two promotion candidates Southend, he is still “devastated” to be leaving a club where he has spent his whole professional career.
“I’m a bit devastated with how it’s worked out,” confessed Baldwin.
“We all sat down with the chairman (Robbie Cowling) recently, to have a meeting about the tough decisions that were having to be made, in terms of the very tight budget at the club.
“I respect the chairman because he has been very honest with us all. He has put a lot of his own money into the club, and seen a lot of it disappear.
“I knew that I was not going to get a new contract, even though I felt that I still had a lot to offer the club.
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“But that was not seen to be the case, in the eyes of the manager (John Ward), who perhaps saw me as a bit of a liability because of all my injuries of the last two years.
“I count myself unlucky with all those injuries, but there have been other times when I have been fit and still not been picked.
“The gaffer told me I did not have a future at the club, and I respect him for telling me this now, rather than to leave it until the end of the season.”
Baldwin can look back with pride on his last decade with the U’s, particularly his influential role in helping the club to win promotion to the Championship in 2006.
But he is now ready to move on.
Baldwin continued: “I would have been prepared to move anywhere, just to play regular football, but this move is perfect for me, and I sat down with my wife and family to discuss it.
“Obviously Southend is just down the road, so it’s not like I am moving 200 miles away.
“I want to get my career started again, and I enjoyed my time at Southend (on loan) last season. I have a good feeling about this move.
“The plan is to help Southend get promoted. I have a contract until the end of this season, and then we shall see what happens after that.
“I will be training with Southend over this weekend, and I’m looking forward to the next game, which promises to be a big one against Swindon on Tuesday.
“But I will obviously miss Colchester, especially the Layer Road years. I really loved those days.
“Perhaps I stayed a bit too long, in terms of the development of my career, but my heart was always here. I’ve had a fantastic 10 years and I have been at the club all my career,” concluded Baldwin.