Pentney signs one-year deal

GOALKEEPER Carl Pentney has signed a one-year contract with Colchester United.

The 20-year-old – who was born in the town – joined the U’s on a ‘non-contract basis’ in the summer having been released by Championship club Leicester City.

And having impressed manager John Ward and goalkeeper coach Ademola Bankole over recent weeks, the young keeper has been rewarded with a permanent deal.

Pentney was brought in as cover this summer when Ben Williams injured his ankle in a pre-season match at AFC Hornchurch.

Having sat on the bench all of last season, Mark Cousins was finally handed his opportunity to shine and, two mistakes at Sunderland in the Carling Cup aside, the 23-year-old has taken his opportunity well.

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Williams – the U’s stand out player of last season – made a return to action in a 3-0 reserve team defeat against Stevenage yesterday.

And Ward has hinted that it will be Pentney – not Cousins – who could be loaned out when all three of his keepers are fit.

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“Because of the situation we’ve had with the goalkeeper position, the chairman (Robbie Cowling) has agreed for us to run with three goalkeepers.

“If we get into the position where all three of them are fully fit then we might look to loan one of them out and that would probably be Carl.

“Carl’s attitude has been excellent and he has worked very, very hard so we were happy to offer him a contract. We’ve also got Shaun Phillips in our academy who we have high hopes for, but he’s only 16.

“So when you look at the age levels of our four goalkeepers then there is a nice ladder for development.”

– Who will start in goal for the U’s against Plymouth on Saturday? Ward reveals the answer in tomorrow’s EADT.

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