“We have shaken hands since that game” – Colchester United assistant manager Steve Ball on Cambridge No. 2 Joe Dunne

Colchester United assistant manager, Steve Ball

Colchester United assistant manager, Steve Ball - Credit: Richard Blaxall

Colchester United’s assistant manager, Steve Ball, is looking forward to this weekend’s trip to Cambridge, where he spent a few unhappy weeks as a player, 25 years ago, while also clashing with current Cambridge No. 2 Joe Dunne earlier this season.

Former U's boss Joe Dunne, the No. 2 at Cambridge United

Former U's boss Joe Dunne, the No. 2 at Cambridge United - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Ball and former U’s manager Dunne exchanged heated words on the touchline, and also in the tunnel, during and following the U’s 2-0 home win over the Abbey Stadium outfit last August.

“Joe (Dunne) is a great guy, and a passionate guy,” said Ball.

“He did a great job here at Colchester, and we have shaken hands since that game. You just tend to get wrapped up in it all – that’s football.”

Ball, 47, spent a brief period with Cambridge in 1992, before going on to sign for Roy McDonough’s Colchester as a cultured midfielder.


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“That wasn’t a great time,” admitted Ball.

“I was only at Cambridge for a few weeks, when John Beck was the manager. I wasn’t his type of player, but it was a good move for me to come to Colchester.”

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Now Ball is loving every minute of his role as the U’s No. 2, having cut his teeth in the U’s Academy and also as first-team manager of Leiston and Maldon & Tiptree.

“It’s been a massive learning curve for me,” insisted Ball.

“I know so much more now, in every area, on and off the pitch. I know we played Cambridge back in August, but to me it seems like only yesterday. It’s all been such a whirlwind,” added Ball.

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