Talking to the new U's

CARL MARSTON talks to Colchester United's two new recruits, NEAL TROTMAN and KARL HAWLEY, who made their U's debuts at Leicester City after both arriving on loan from Preston

Carl Marston

CARL MARSTON talks to Colchester United's two new recruits, NEAL TROTMAN and KARL HAWLEY, who made their U's debuts at Leicester City after both arriving on loan from Preston

NEAL Trotman made one of the most impressive debuts in a Colchester United shirt, following his masterful display in the heart of defence at Leicester City on Saturday.

Trotman, who does not celebrate his 22nd birthday for another month, delivered a man-of-the-match performance even though this was his first senior game of the season!


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Hampered by injuries and unable to break into the Preston first team, Trotman “jumped at the chance” to join Colchester.

“I have a long career ahead of me, but I was getting a big moody with the injury (a hernia). However, I'm back and I'm in a better mood,” insisted Trotman after the 1-1 draw at the Walkers Stadium.

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“This is a good chance for me. In fact, I jumped at the chance to join Colchester, especially after looking at the fixture list.

“I saw that we had Leicester away, and also other tough away games at Scunthorpe and Millwall, as well as an attractive home game against Leeds.

“So I decided it would be good for me to go out on loan. Liam Chilvers (current Preston and ex-Colchester centre-half) told me that it would be a good place to come and play some football,” added Trotman.

Manchester-born Trotman, who came up through the youth ranks at Burnley before making the grade at Oldham, signed for Championship side Preston from the Latics for �500,000 at the end of January, 2008.

He made three appearances at the end of last season, including his full debut on his 21st birthday (April 26), but had spent all this term either on the treatment table or stuck in the reserves.

U's manager Paul Lambert was full of praise for his new signing after the trip to Leicester, choosing to compare him to Celtic's defensive stalwart, Bobo Balde. He also insisted that he would buy Trotman, if he had a spare one million pounds!

Trotman continued: “It's good to hear the manager say these nice things about me, but basically I just try and keep things simple on the pitch. I don't try and complicate things.

“I just make sure that I get my head or foot to the ball, and I like to set up others in the opposite box. I told Karl Hawley (fellow debutant) that I would set him up at Leicester, and that's what I did by heading on a free-kick.

“I saw his face when he just failed to score with that header. But at least I kept my word.

“I thought we should have got three points from this game. Leicester were lucky to get even one point,” concluded Trotman.

STRIKER Karl Hawley insists that he will get better with a few games under his belt, after partnering Clive Platt up front at the Walkers Stadium.

Hawley had a couple of chances to score in the second half. He headed wide from fellow Preston loanee Trotman's headed lay-off, when the U's were leading 1-0, and was also denied by a smart save from Foxes keeper Tony Warner in stoppage time.

“That's my first 90 minutes of football for quite a while. I haven't played that much for a month or two,” explained Hawley.

“I enjoyed playing alongside Clive Platt, although that wasn't the first time we have played together, because we were both at Walsall at the same time.

“I think that we can get better together. At the moment my basic fitness is there, but not yet the sharpness. That will come with a few more games.

“Neal (Trotman) had signed a couple of days before, so I spoke to him about a possible move. I was told about Colchester's interest on Thursday afternoon, so it all happened quite quickly,” added Hawley.

Walsall-born Hawley only made four substitute appearances for his home town club. He impressed with 10 goals during two loan spells at Raith Rovers, but it was his switch to Carlisle that really kick-started his career.

The 27-year-old front runner top-scored in each of his three campaign at Brunton Park, which included two promotions, but playing in the Championship has been more of a challenge.

He scored three goals for Preston last season, and has found this campaign even more frustrating, although he did at least bag a couple of goals during a loan stint at League One strugglers Northampton.

Ironically, it was Scott Vernon's loan move to Northampton that paved the way for Hawley's own loan deal at Colchester. The early signs are that he can prove an effective foil for big target man Platt.

He was certainly impressed with his new team's display at runaway leaders Leicester.

“We were on top for most of the match. I thought we were better than Leicester, and yet they are on top of the league,” said Hawley.

“I had a couple of good chances, while Clive Platt was just over with a header and Mark Yeates also had a one-on-one with the keeper. I thought it was two points dropped for us.”

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