Same ring to departures of U's duo

THERE is an uncanny similarity between the recent transfer sagas of Jamie Cureton and Wayne Brown.They were both in terrific form last season; they both still had a year to run on their contracts and yet they both decided to request a transfer, within a few weeks of each other.

By Carl Marston

THERE is an uncanny similarity between the recent transfer sagas of Jamie Cureton and Wayne Brown.

They were both in terrific form last season; they both still had a year to run on their contracts and yet they both decided to request a transfer, within a few weeks of each other.

And that's only half the story. Colchester United's Board of Directors initially rejected both transfer requests, Cureton in mid-June and Brown last week. Both players were offered new improved and extended contracts but no agreements could be reached and in the end their separate departures were inevitable.


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Cureton joined his former club, Norwich City, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £750,000, while defender Brown has moved to Hull City for a fee of £450,000.

The U's have therefore lost their two prize assets - Cureton scooped the Championship's Golden Boot with 24 goals last term, while centre-half Brown played every minute of every match as United finished 10th in the Championship.

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However, it must be remembered that both players originally arrived at Layer Road on free transfers, Cureton last summer and Brown in February, 2004.

Brown was eager to highlight that fact when he spoke to the EADT over the weekend, just as front-runner Cureton had when he left for Carrow Road.

“I know that the club has lost a couple of decent players, but I think all parties have won,” insisted Brown. “There are two ways to look at it. Colchester United has sold a couple of players, but they have done well financially out of it.

“We were both free transfers, and we've both given good service before being sold for good money.”

Likewise, Cureton used similar words when he left Layer Road on June 29, bound for the Canaries.

He said: “When I signed for Colchester on a free transfer, I don't think they imagined that they would get a fee for me, so it has worked out well for all parties.”

Another similarity between Cureton and Brown is their age - both are approaching the twilight of their careers. Cureton celebrates his 32nd birthday next month (August 28), just eight days after Brown turns 30.

“This next contract was very important to me,” confessed Brown.

“I've signed a three-year contract, so I have some security for my family. I'm nearly 30, and I reckon I have five or six good years left in me.

“Hull are a very ambitious club, and I reckon we can achieve a top-six finish. I'll miss the team morale at Colchester, which was very special, but these moves happen in football. The old manager (Phil Parkinson) went to Hull a year ago, and if you told me at the time that I would be following suit a year later, I would probably have laughed at you! But with football you never know what's around the next corner. Phil isn't even there now!” added Brown.

Likewise, Cureton emphasized his advancing years when moving to Norwich. He remarked: “Age is no longer on my side. If I'd been 21, rather than 31, then I wouldn't be leaving Colchester.”

But depart he did, with Brown following suit soon afterwards. Both men will be very difficult to replace.

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