Tom Bender expresses his relief at signing new U’s deal

TOM Bender is hoping that all his injury woes of last season are behind him, after the 19-year-old defender signed a new one-year deal at Colchester United yesterday.

A product of the U’s Academy, Bender had already made a couple of senior appearances before being farmed out on loan to Accrington Stanley last term.

But a high-profile head injury – Bender suffered concussion in a match against Tranmere that was abandoned because of the feared seriousness of the injury – was just one of a number of setbacks to plague the Welsh under-21 international.

Bender recovered well from this injury, but then returned to the U’s at the end of February after tearing his hamstring.

Not surprisingly, therefore, he is relieved to have been given a new contract by the League One club.

“I’m delighted to sign a new deal, because I know a lot of players of my age who are without a club,” explained Bender last night.

“So it’s a big relief to be staying at Colchester, and now I really want to get going with my career over the next season.

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“The last season was easily the worst of my career. I had injuries galore and just couldn’t get going.

“But I’m clear of injuries now, and feeling fit again. I want to hit the ground running,” added Bender.

Meanwhile, keeper Carl Pentney also signed a new one-year deal yesterday. The ex-Leicester custodian is yet to make his U’s debut, having played nine games on loan at Hayes & Yeading in the Blue Square Premier last season.

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