Teddy is ready for big kick-off

TEDDY Sheringham insists that he is “fit and raring to go,” despite acknowledging that he is still lacking in match-sharpness.Colchester United's high-profile summer signing is looking forward to making his mark in the Championship, at the ripe old age of 41.

By Carl Marston

TEDDY Sheringham insists that he is “fit and raring to go,” despite acknowledging that he is still lacking in match-sharpness.

Colchester United's high-profile summer signing is looking forward to making his mark in the Championship, at the ripe old age of 41. And he should be involved in some capacity at Sheffield United for Saturday's opening day clash.

“I'm not 100%, that's for sure, but I'm fit and I'm available,” revealed Sheringham at yesterday's Media Day at Layer Road.


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“I missed a couple of weeks with a calf problem, but I've trained for the last 10 days and I got my lungs going with 20 minutes action against Bolton.

“I'm sure that Sheffield United will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. They will be wanting to bounce straight back, after being unlucky to be relegated last season, but let's hope that they get off to a bad start!”

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Sheringham may have played on the biggest stage with the likes of England, Manchester United and Tottenham, but he has also tasted life in the lower divisions. He is certainly not worried about swapping the Premiership for the Championship, and Upton Park for Layer Road this term. “I've sampled the lower divisions before. I was on loan at Aldershot and started my career at Millwall,” said Sheringham, who was released by West Ham this summer.

“I may not be playing in front of the biggest crowds this season, but it's still professional football, which is what I love. I'm here at Colchester to play football, nothing else.

“To be still playing at this level at the age of 41 is down to luck. I don't have any special diets. I enjoy myself. I guess I'm just lucky.

“It will be tough to play 46 games, but I'm feeling good. There's a big difference between the Premiership and the Championship, but the English game is all about competing, and then hoping that your quality comes out.

“Colchester had a fantastic season last year (10th in the table). The second season is always the most difficult for newly-promoted teams, but if we can get off to a good start, then who knows where that will take us?

“The expectations will be higher, at least among the fans, who will be wanting even more success. That's the normal effect, but it doesn't always work out like that,” added Sheringham.

n Adam Barrett admits to being “flattered” by Colchester United's interest in him, following last week's undisclosed six-figure bid (believed to be £200,000). But centre-half Barrett believes that he will be staying at Southend for the new season.

Barrett said: “I'm happy to stay at Southend and I don't want to go anywhere else. It's been flattering that another team wants to sign me, but I've been told I'm staying and that's fine.”

Joe Dunne has been appointed as Colchester United's new reserve team coach.

Former U's defender Dunne returned to Layer Road as youth team manager in 2003.

His success in that role has led to his promotion to take an active interest in the senior squad.

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