U’s foreign import unlikely

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward will be looking to secure a few new Dutch contacts, during the squad’s week-long stay in Holland this week.

However, Ward admits that it is unlikely he will find a foreign answer to his quest for a striker.

The U’s travelled out to Holland on Saturday for a week’s training that also includes two friendlies, against SDC Putten tonight and then FC Utrecht on Friday, before the club returns home on the same evening.

Ward is happy with the make-up of his squad, although he is hoping to secure another striker before the start of the season. That front-runner is more likely to be home-grown than from the continent.

“The trip will be good for the team, and it will be a chance for me to make contacts and meet people,” explained Ward.

“With these further contacts from Holland, that striker might come from there, who knows? But I am not particularly looking abroad.

“We at Colchester are unlikely to get a foreign player that we know, let’s face it, unless he is on his last legs a little bit.

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“So I haven’t really gone down that road. It didn’t quite work with Matthias (Vilhjalmsson) last year, that was a long shot.

“I’m unlikely to go down that route this year, unless something falls in my lap,” added Ward.

The U’s boss is looking forward to the Dutch experience, and feels that it will benefit his squad ahead of the looming League One campaign.

“I like the idea of the Holland trip,” continued Ward.

“I’ve done it at other clubs before and it is helpful. We have a game on Monday and play on the Friday before travelling back on Friday night.

“We have Utrecht at their national training centre in Holland, so it looks like being an exciting experience.”

The trio of Magnus Okuonghae, Matt Heath and Anthony Bond all missed the U’s 4-0 win at Maldon & Tiptree in their first pre-season friendly on Wednesday night, but all three will be-heading off to Holland.

Ward confirmed: “Matt Heath (calf) and Anthony Bond (groin) will both be on the trip to Holland, but I couldn’t risk them at Maldon.

“I didn’t want to run the risk of them being out for four or five weeks.

“Magnus will probably play against Utrecht in the second match next week.”

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