Powell can light up League One, says Mooney
COLCHESTER United new boy Conor Powell can light up League One according to team mate and fellow Irishman David Mooney.
Yesterday was a busy day for the U’s as they signed left-sided player Powell on a free transfer from Irish club Bohemians, extended Mooney’s loan from Championship club Reading until the end of the season and also managed to secure midfielder Anthony Wordsworth on a new two-and-a-half year contract.
Highly-rated Powell – now aged 23 having previously earned nine caps for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s – was released by his Dublin-based club recently due to severe financial difficulties.
He had trials at Championship sides Doncaster and Reading in the last few weeks, but joins the U’s on a 12-month contract with the option of a six-month extension after that.
Powell won’t be available for Saturday’s FA Cup third round trip to high-flying Championship club Swansea, but is due to arrive at The Weston Homes Community Stadium next Monday and will play in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Reading the following day.
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“He’s a tremendous player,” said Mooney, who roomed with Powell while they were international youth team mates and came up against him numerous times while a player at Cork City.
“I think he’ll take to English football pretty easily. He’s won championships back home, played in some big European games and I believe that if he does well here then the world will be his oyster.”
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The 2010 League or Ireland season finished in early November, with Bohemians – who have played in both Champions League and Europa Cup qualifiers in recent times – narrowly missing out on a third successive title by virtue of goal difference to Shamrock Rovers.
“I don’t think it will be too long until he is ready,” said Ward. “Hopefully he’ll play quite a few games between now and the end of the season.”
Powell’s arrival further increases speculation that U’s left-back Marc Tierney, who is out-of-contract this summer and has already rejected a new deal, is set to leave the club in a cut-price move during this month’s transfer window.
Championship clubs Norwich and Coventry, managed by former U’s managers Paul Lambert and Aidy Boothroyd respectively, are believed to be currently weighing up an offer for his services.
Meanwhile, Ward has decided against signing left-back Tom Williams after his loan deal at the club came to an end and he was released by parent club Bristol City.
The U’s boss is, however, hopeful of finalising a three-month loan deal for Icelandic international midfielder Matthias Vilhj�lmsson within the next week.
Colchester have also agreed that winger Medy Elito and keeper Carl Pentney can remain at loan clubs Dagenham & Redbridge (League One) and Bath City (Blue Square Premier) for an extended period.
Elito – who has scored twice in six games for the Daggers – will remian there until January 5, while Pentney will stay at bath until the end of the month.
– For full match preview of Colchester United’s FA Cup third round trip to Swansea, see tomorrow’s EADT.