Vincent-Young could follow in footsteps of five players who have made their way from U’s to the Blues
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Kane Vincent-Young is currently on trial with Ipswich Town after turning down a new Colchester United deal. STUART WATSON looks at players who have made their way up the A12 in the past.
When: January 2015
Age at time: 25
Town career: 107 starts, 43 sub apps. Goals: 24
Having burst on the scene as a teenager at Premier League club West Ham, the young striker had to drop down in order to work his way up again.
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It was his form at the start of the 2014/15 season, 10 goals in 24 games for a struggling League One U’s side, which caught the eye of Mick McCarthy up the road.
Due to the fact he was in the last six months of his contract, the Blues – who were in the Championship automatic promotion places come the turn of the year – were able to snap him up for just £100k.
Playing up front alongside Daryl Murphy, Sears scored nine goals for Town at the back end of that season and then scored four times in the opening six games of the following campaign.
However, the goals dried up badly after that (seven in 119) as more often than not he found himself playing on the wing.
It was great to see the popular 28-year-old end his drought with successive goals against Reading and Middlesbrough right at the end of last season under caretaker boss Bryan Klug.
Time will tell if he will get a lease of new life under new manager Paul Hurst this coming campaign.
When: July 2013
Fee: Free (from Bristol City)
Age at time: 28
Town career: 95 starts
The Essex-born keeper joined the U’s after being released by Southend. His breakthrough campaign was the season Phil Parkinson’s men remarkably finished 10th in the club’s first-ever season at second-tier level (06/07).
Relegation followed for Colchester and, after a 12th-place finish in League One, Gerken was sold to Bristol City after making 127 appearances for the club.
He was a regular in his debut campaign at Ashton Gate as the Robins finished 10th in the Championship, but found his opportunities limited for the next three seasons due to the arrivals of David James and Tom Heaton.
McCarthy snapped him up on a Bosman free transfer in the summer of 2013 following Bristol City’s relegation to League One and he was the undisputed No.1 for the first season-and-a-half at Portman Road.
Bartosz Bialkowski replaced him between the sticks at the start of 2016 though and has never looked back.
When: January 2013
Age at time: 23
Town career: 10 starts, 10 sub apps. Goals: 2
The technically-gifted left-footed midfielder had long been viewed as League One player with big potential, scoring 35 goals in 199 appearances for the U’s, but it was neighbours Ipswich who made the move during McCarthy’s first transfer window.
Unfortunately, his Blues career never quite took off as he was restricted to just eight intermittent Championship starts.
Cracking three vetebrae in his back against Blackpool was a big early set-back and he argued, perhaps fairly, that McCarthy never gave him a fair run in the side the following campaign.
The languid set-piece specialist was subsequently put on the transfer list and, following loan spells at Rotherham and Crawley, moved on a free transfer to Southend where he’s racked up 87 appearances.
When: July 2008
Age at time: 29
Town career: 26 starts, 19 sub apps. Goals: 7
Following almost a decade at Charlton, where he made more than 100 Premier League appearances, Lisbie joined Colchester in 2007 and scored 23 goals during their two campaigns in the Championship.
When the U’s were relegated back to League One, Town boss Jim Magilton brought him up the short distance up the A12.
The Jamaican international striker enjoyed a decent debut campaign with the Blues, but quickly fell out with new boss Roy Keane over living arrangements.
He was loaned back to Colchester and then spent a year at Millwall before finally joining Leyton Orient on a free transfer once his three-year deal expired.
Now aged 39, he scored 23 goals in 25 games for Southern Counties East League side Cray Valley Paper Mills last season.
When: November 1967
Age at time: 25
Town career: 26 appearances. Goals: 4
The Colchester-born forward was formed a deadly partnership with Martyn King at his hometown club in the early 60s.
He is the U’s joint-fifth all-time leading goalscorer with 82 goals and still holds the club record for the highest number of league goals
scored in one season (38 in 1961-1962).
He went on to play for Northampton and Millwall before joining Bill McGarry’s Ipswich in 1967. Struggled for game time during his three years in Suffolk, but was part of Town’s Second Division winning side of 67/68.