U’s hoping to continue their pre-season good cheer

Two players who should be influential for the U's in 2018-19. Harry Pell, left, in action for his ol

Two players who should be influential for the U's in 2018-19. Harry Pell, left, in action for his old club Cheltenham, against Brennan Dickenson. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester Uni

It is never wise to read too much into a pre-season campaign, especially during the early stages against some of the less fancied opposition.

Over the years, I have seen encouraging pre-season performances, and results, abruptly ended by a poor start to the season proper.

On the other hand, I have also experienced rather worrying pre-season programmes quickly forgotten by impressive starts to a campaign.

Yet certainly the early signs are encouraging for Colchester United this month, following the arrival of several summer signings and then big away wins at Maldon & Tiptree (4-1), Braintree Town (5-0) and Colwyn Bay (5-0).

Two more away fixtures follow this week, at National League hosts Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow night (kick-off 7.30pm), and at Dartford on Saturday (3pm).

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Then comes the real business end of pre-season, with two home fixtures against Championship side Millwall on Tuesday, July 24 (7.45pm) and Gillingham on Saturday, July 28 (3pm).

So far, so good.

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Some of the U’s new signings have enjoyed some good early outings in a Colchester United, with Wolves loanee Aaron Collins and the experienced Frank Nouble among the goals.

Collins, who should be a handful for League Two defences, scored one and set up two at Braintree, as well as applying a deadly finish at Cowlyn Bay for the fourth goal last Friday evening.

Ex-Ipswich Town front-runner Nouble, who should be a real handful as a front-man in the fourth tier, has also kicked off with a couple of goals. He netted 10 goals in 52 games for Newport County last season, despite mostly operating on the wing.

Mikael Mandron, who led the U’s front-line with spirit last season, will not be giving up his place in the team easily, as reflected in his five goals in the first three friendlies.

And perhaps the biggest pre-season signing of them all, midfielder Harry Pell, already looks the part, despite picking up a niggling injury in the first match. Pell is an exciting addition to the U’s team.

Furthermore, a fully-fit Brennan Dickenson will be champing at the bit to rediscover his old form after all his injury woes.

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