U’s men on trial

IT is last chance saloon for Colchester United’s trio of triallists at Heybridge Swifts this evening (kick-off 7.30pm).

John Ward’s men, fresh from a 2-0 win at Dover in their opening day pre-season friendly on Saturday, take on their Essex rivals, from the Ryman League, at Scraley Road.

Lloyd James, Ben Coker and James Walker all enjoyed 45 minutes of action at Dover, and the three triallists will again be put through their paces tonight. Ward will then make a decision on whether he wants to retain any of them, in preparation for the new season in League One.

James, released by Southampton, operated in a withdrawn midfield role at Dover, behind Anthony Wordsworth and David Perkins in a three-man midfield. Wordsworth headed home the opener against the Kent hosts.

Left-sided specialist Coker, who is on trial from Bury Town, and former Southend front-man Walker, will also be given another chance tonight.

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Senior keeper Ben Williams missed the Dover game, due to a knee injury, and it is touch-and-go whether he will feature against Heybridge. That might mean another outing for Mark Counsins, with 16-year-old Shaun Philips having also been given 10 minutes action in goal on Saturday.

Left-back Marc Tierney, who also missed out at Dover due to injury, is expected to make his first appearance of pre-season.

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And for many Colchester fans it will also be their first chance to see new summer signings Brian Wilson and Andy Bond.

Wilson is a specialist right-back, while midfielder Bond made a name for himself in the Blue Square Premier with Barrow.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Colchester United made a loss of �3.5m for the year ending September, 2009, which was the U’s first at their new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Chairman and owner, Robbie Cowling, put that figure down to the increased costs of moving to a new stadium.

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