U's starting to build for next season

COLCHESTER United are already turning their thoughts towards next season, in terms of shaping their squad.Pat Baldwin has become the third U's player to sign an extension to his current contract, following in the footsteps of veteran keeper and goalkeeping coach Aidan Davison, and skipper Karl Duguid.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United are already turning their thoughts towards next season, in terms of shaping their squad.

Pat Baldwin has become the third U's player to sign an extension to his current contract, following in the footsteps of veteran keeper and goalkeeping coach Aidan Davison, and skipper Karl Duguid.

Centre-half Baldwin was in the 16-man squad for every game until the 3-2 defeat at Ipswich Town on January 20. He was rested because of a virus, and has since been waiting his chance to break back into the side.


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The 24-year-old former Chelsea trainee appeared in every U's game except one (unused substitute in the 2-1 home defeat by Barnsley in mid-August) until a month ago, playing alongside Wayne Brown at the heart of defence.

Manager Geraint Williams enthused last night: “Pat (Baldwin) has been a big part of our season, and it's terrific news that he has signed a new contract.

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“The players have proved that they can compete with anyone in this division, and I'm delighted that the club and Pat have come to an agreement over a new deal.

“Skipper Karl (Duguid) and Aidan (Davison) have already signed, and hopefully there will be more to follow. We need to look towards next season,” added Williams.

Baldwin arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea in the summer of 2002, and has since made 137 senior appearances. He celebrated his first goal for the club in the 3-0 victory over Southend in November.

He was an unused substitute during the 2-1 home defeat by West Brom on Tuesday night, which was the U's first defeat at Layer Road in 15 matches, spanning six months.

The U's next match is at Plymouth Argyle next Tuesday evening. They have a free Saturday this weekend.

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