U's young striker is a Guy in dreamland
COLCHESTER United's teenage striker Jamie Guy admits that playing in the Championship is a “dream come true.”The 19-year-old has made a couple of appearances as a substitute this season, having spent the bulk of last term either on the fringe of the squad, or else playing on the non-league circuit.
By Carl Marston
COLCHESTER United's teenage striker Jamie Guy admits that playing in the Championship is a “dream come true.”
The 19-year-old has made a couple of appearances as a substitute this season, having spent the bulk of last term either on the fringe of the squad, or else playing on the non-league circuit.
And Guy was a handful for Barnsley's defence during Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Layer Road. Appearing as a 69th minute substitute for Jamie Cureton, the bustling Guy terrorised the Tykes rearguard with a couple of powerful runs.
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There were very few positives to emerge from this latest reverse. The U's are without a point from their first three fixtures, but Guy's late cameo performance was a highlight.
“I thought I did OK. I'm gradually getting a bit longer on the pitch now. Usually, I only get a few minutes near the end, when it's very difficult to have an impact,” said Guy.
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“At least against Barnsley I was able to get at them. I ran at the defence, but it's just the final ball that is letting me, and the team, down.
“Hopefully, that will improve with experience. I'm learning all the time. We all just need to be a bit more composed in the final third of the pitch.
“I suppose you could say that I'm in dreamland at the moment. Last season, I was playing in the Ryman League for Staines, and then in the Conference with Cambridge.
“But on the first day of this season, I came on as a substitute in front of a crowd of more than 24,000 at Birmingham City!” added Guy.
Front-runner Guy is a successful product of the U's youth team, having initially been at Leyton Orient as a schoolboy. His dad, Stuart, has followed him wherever he has played, whether that be at Staines or at St Andrews in the Championship.
Guy was a member of the successful U's youth team that had such a terrific run in the FA Youth Cup in 2004-05. The Barking-born striker was rewarded with a couple of senior outings that season, both as a late substitute at home to Blackpool and at Hull.
He was loaned out to non-league clubs last season, to enjoy some regular first-team action, and he ended up scoring goals at a healthy rate for both St Albans and Cambridge.
This summer's departures, with the likes of Gareth Williams, Tony Thorpe, Sam Stockley, Stephen Hunt, Neil Danns, Liam Chilvers and Mark Yeates all leaving, has left the squad stretched to the limit, which has meant a few surprise early opportunities for Guy.
Although obviously still regarded as a player for the future, Guy wants to make an impact now. He continued: “I think that I can make it at this level. I have the hunger. We're disappointed with the way results have gone so far. We've conceded some sloppy goals, but the goals that beat us against Plymouth and Barnsley were both great strikes.
“I thought we sat back too much in the second-half against Barnsley. We should have pushed forward more, rather than lean on the cushion of our one-goal lead,”
Manager Geraint Williams was happy with the contribution of his young substitute on Saturday. Guy celebrated his 19th birthday on August 1.
“Jamie (Guy) is a whole-hearted young lad. He showed that today,” said Williams.
“He gave Barnsley more problems in the second-half than anyone else. He had a chance to score, and he was not afraid to run at defenders.”
The U's will hope to break their points duck when they travel to West Brom this Saturday.