U’s could face Premier League opposition

COLCHESTER United are looking to arrange some mid-season friendly games, potentially against Premier League opposition, in order to bring their fringe players up to full match fitness.

Several first team professionals featured in a 2-1 reserve team victory over Oxford United on Wednesday night as the U’s went top of the Totesport.com Combination Reserve League East Division.

The experienced duo of Steven Gillespie and Lloyd James scored the goals, the latter particularly catching the eye in midfield, while the likes of John White, Kayode Odejayi, Liam Henderson and Lee Beevers also featured.

Second string matches are generally few and far between though with just 10 teams in the division.

And that lack of match sharpness was apparent when a much-changed U’s side put in a tired looking display against Wycombe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this month

With that in mind, Ward has instructed his coaching staff of Joe Dunne and Richard Hall to arrange some additional friendly fixtures over the next couple of months

“We’ve got some more reserve games and an Essex Senior Cup match (against Dagenham & Redbridge) coming up, but after that we’ll be looking to sort out some extra matches,” revealed the U’s boss.

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“It’s very important that the guys not playing in the first team keep getting regular games so that they are ready to come in for our next busy period which will be in November/December time.

“We’ll have to be prepared to travel because our training ground doesn’t allow us to play there. Whether that’s clubs in the London area or further afield I don’t know, but if it means getting on a coach and going up north I don’t mind.

“I don’t think that a lot of Premier League teams are playing reserve team football this season so maybe we could get a game against one or two of them.”

– Two-page match preview of Colchester United’s trip to Oldham in tomorrow’s EADT.

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