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Questions 15:35 - Jun 23 with 550 viewsLeadbelly

1. We know four first XI regulars are not being offered new contracts. Of these four, Comley, Jackson, Nouble and Prosser, which one represents the biggest loss to the side?

2. If Covid 19 wasn't an issue which of the above players, if any, would or should have been offered new contracts?

3. In view of how Covid 19 has affected club finances this season and will likely continue to do so next season, at the very least, should the club retain the services of a Director of Football?

4. In view of the likely financial situation throughout football, which players under contract for next season would justify a transfer fee?

5. What prospect is there of the club making any new signings, whether or not transfer fees are involved?

6. Regardless of whether you consider this season to have been a success, do you think there will be improvement next season?

7. In view of the likely financial constraints next season, what could/should the club do to maximise the potential for improvement?

Poll: Safe standing at football; yes, know or don't know?

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Questions on 16:06 - Jun 23 with 539 viewsFruitbat

Interesting set of questions.

1. On his day, definitely Frank.

2. Probably all would have been offered something. The one I'm least bothered about losing is Comley as we have plenty of bodies in midfield.

3. No, but we will.

4. Probably Bramhall. Senior isn't consistent enough. Poku maybe but he's still pretty untried and given the current state of the world clubs may be less willing to take a punt on a kid who has to sit in the U23s for a couple of years.

5. I don't think there'll be many but we won't be the only ones.

6. Depends. Some sides will have been hit harder than others and some are already basket cases (Southend, Macclesfield). League position will likely closely reflect financial resilience.

7. I have no answers for this but thankfully, RC is much smarter than I am so hopefully he does.
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Questions on 16:45 - Jun 23 with 528 viewsdurham_exile

Good questions.

The first thing I would say is that things are still very raw today. As good as Dean Gerken has been this season he was lamentable last night when it really mattered. The first two goals conceded were down to him. The third was an impressive strike.

I do not blame Kwame Poku at all for the last minute miss. His brilliance at Salford put us in that position in the first place.

1 and 2. I would have kept all four if I had the opportunity (do not forget that we have offloaded 12 players in total). Jackson has been a consistently good performer, Prosser was the Club captain, Brandon Comley most improved player of the year and Big Frank always gave 100%. All four will be sadly missed.

3. The £1m that we accrued from the League Cup run should not be overlooked. Given who occupies the position there is no way that the club will offload him.

4. Frankly I dont want to lose anymore players but Harry Pell, Ben Stevenson, Kwame Poku, Luke Norris and Callum Harriot would justify a transfer fee. The question of Jevani Brown must be addressed, he cost £315K, was loaned out to FGR has returned to the club, but did not fetaure in the squad at all for the Exeter game. We might have to take a huge hit on him or get him playing as the Number 10 that he was bought to be.

5. loan signings have to be the way forward given the situation. Several clubs have had a big clear out of players (Bolton, Southend, Macclesfield etc).

Will anyone replace Jackson possibly Miles Welch-Hayes, Prosser possibly Omar Sowunmi, Comley possibly Chilvers, Big Frank possibly ?

I reckon that we need to strenghten the squad and defence, midfield and striker positions are all needed.

6. I am a glass half full person and so every year I reckon we will be promoted but it is going to be tough without enhancements to the squad.

7. The cull of 12 players has already reduced the wages bill. A radical rethink of season ticket prices must be undertaken. We do not yet know when the cardboard cut outs will be replaced by the faithful, but the option of a cheaper ticket would be a major step forward. As an exile and living 260 miles from Colchester, I attend mainly away games (normally 15-18 each year) and about 5 home games but if say a £199 season ticket were offered, I would stump up for one.

The club offering merchandise postage free has been useful for me and I have purchased training wear, coats and jackets during the lockdown period.

Offering the Shirts at 30% off would prove popular especially as it is unlikley that a new shirt will be forthcoming this season.

Now that lockdown is being relaxed events can be held at the club again and money will start to once again flow in.

I am sure that Florence Park could be utilised for other training venues for other teams who might pay to use the facilities.

The club must attempt to redouble its efforts to achieve promotion. There will be some very big clubs in League One next season and losing out on that revenue is going to hurt us. We simply must get back to League One.

We trust in RC and we love the club. Despite my disappointment last night I will be there again next season at Barrow, Salford etc etc

Next year I will have reached a 50 year milestone supporting the club and a top seven finish must be the aim.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Questions on 21:00 - Jun 23 with 477 viewsbwildered

None of the Colchester four will be offered new contracts or resign any on reduced terms .

Only the Chairman will decide if the position of Director of Football is worthwhile.

Bramhall , Poku and Chilvers later likely to command a fee .

Clubs might get proactive with one for one deals in future has a option to spending.

Losing experience players and there strengths will undoubt inhibit any improvement, but every club hopes to sign any player has a improvement on the previous, and hope acquire greatness.

Reassess all unfulfilled match credits and season tickets together with new terms for another future L2 campaign .

Poll: End of season placement.

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Questions on 22:10 - Jun 23 with 464 viewsGOSBTS

Excellent questions Leadbelly, and some top answers already given. Here's my two penneth:

1) Frank. That's not to say that he's the best of the four (I think Jacko is), but his swash-buckling style in and around the box makes him a unique sort of player that's hard to find a like for like replacement. He's also a big fans favourite.

2) All of them, IMO. Especially when technically this was our rebuilding year after all the departures last summer, and you come so close to promotion, you preferably don't want to lose any players and only strengthen for an automatic push the next season.

3) I don't know too much about the inner workings of the club being a relatively new fan, but I'm inclined to trust RC as it seems like he runs the club far better than many of his peers do in League Two.

4) I wouldn't want to see any of them go because we've already lost four of our starting XI, but I'm worried that Bramall might go to a Championship side, especially after his displays against Exeter in front of the TV cameras.

5) If we want to go one better then we absolutely must (we only have one striker), but in the Covid climate this may not be realistic or financially viable.

6) No. This is assuming that the 2020/21 season will be hampered by Covid at least in part (behind closed doors etc) and that we won't be able to buy any players. In this scenario, I think we will weather the storm better than many other clubs, but our starting XI is substantially weaker. We only have one striker at the moment. Unless Southend need to offload Theo, I doubt in footballing terms they'd want to considering he's shown that he can cut it at League Two level. I'm not sure he'd be as good for us in any case with his friend Frank not here. Perhaps this could be the opportunity to build the team around Jevani Brown if he really is the real deal and attitude problems aren't a factor in his absence from the match day squad? In these circumstances I think a top half finish outside the playoffs is realistic, with a promotion push viable for the season after when football hopefully returns to normality.

7) I really don't know!
[Post edited 23 Jun 2020 22:12]
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Questions on 11:09 - Jun 24 with 415 viewsPinault_Noir

Well posed questions Lead. Thank you. Hard ones too because as I embark on a 56th season with the U's I have never known so complicated a time and it's tempting to suggest that the answer to some of the questions - also given Mr Cowling's methodology - is that very little may change for the U's for some considerable time.
My responses are based on having seen 75%of the games this last season.

1. Jackson.
Comley was wasted, Frank had a poorer season than last, Prosser the reverse. Jackson is an effective LG 1 footballer.

2. Jackson, Prosser and probably Nouble, though I'd swap Frank for Comley and actually play him.

3. I've never understood the reasons for the role. I was one of the few who thought Humes was beginning to do a reasonable job at LG 1level but he was trolled out. Given that we've had three successive samey, cautious, seasons where it's clear we're sort of 8th, are frequently out thought by opposition managers, rarely play consistently and often begin games looking very ill prepared perhaps Humes could have another go!!

4. Senior might attract a small fee, especially to an ambitious National lg side, otherwise Bramall definitely is Championship level and I suspect Chilvers, Ross and Stevenson may be attractive.

5. Given Mr Cowling's ways, the fact that the virus has hit us hard and the uncertainty of the future I suspect the answer may be "very little chance".
Mind you we have a huge need for strikers, we never scored more than three in any game.
It's possible that the time has come for Ross, Clampin, Chilvers, Cowan-Hall, Hasanally, Brown and one or two of the Tiptree brigade to step up.
We could certainly do worse than to sign Slew and to re-energise Junior.

6. Cautious about improvements Lead but if some of the players in Q5 appeared some sort of new beginning may be possible if management offer opportunities.

7. I'm afraid they may have to sell Bramall first off. Otherwise the I-follow option must be maximised whilst stadia are closed. Ticket pricing will need careful consideration of levels. The Tiptree facility may be rentable. Otherwise Mr Cowling's experience is far greater than mine and he's going to be crucial in the next twelve months.
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Questions on 12:32 - Jun 24 with 410 viewswessex_exile

1. Tough call, toss-up between Frank and Jacko I'd say - Jackson

2. Frank has earned it.

3. Haha, loaded question Whales . I'll say yes, given our relative success where recruitment is concerned in recent years.

4. Do you mean as in we could sell? Bramall and Poku I'd say.

5. Limited - I suspect we might keep Robinson, otherwise just academy loans I reckon.

6. Difficult, guts ripped out of the team, but we won't be the only ones (Cheltenham have already released 5 after their 2nd leg horror show). I'm an optimist, so I do believe there will be improvement.

7. Keep doing what we're doing, support the first team through attracting and developing youthful talent.

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: When Saturday Comes #5

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Questions on 15:18 - Jun 24 with 393 viewsLeadbelly

Interesting range of responses. I suppose I ought to say what I think!

1. All will be missed for different reasons. I’m not saying Prosser was the best player but I think he may be the biggest loss to the team. The defence was reasonably solid this season and Prosser’s organisational ability was a big part of that. It also worries me that there is no obvious candidate for captain. We have lacked leaders on the pitch for a long time and I really don’t see who amongst those under contract will change that.

2. I suspect all four would have been retained with the possible exception of Prosser.

3. Looking at this objectively, which is difficult, with new recruitment likely being very limited I have to question what the DoF will be doing in the foreseeable future. Having lost four players because we can’t afford to offer them new deals then perhaps other cost cutting must be considered. In any other business I suspect someone whose core responsibilities have been reduced substantially would be a candidate for redundancy. If that departure meant retaining a first team regular then it makes sense to me.

4. Bramall definitely. If another club is prepared to pay money for Senior, Poku or others mentioned I’d certainly not argue but I’d be surprised if that were to happen when none of them are anywhere close to consistent performers at League 2 level.

5. Heart says we have to make signings, at bare minimum one recognised striker, but head says it’s unlikely to happen...and I’d be staggered if a transfer fee were involved.

6. I suspect the squad will be weaker but that may be the case for almost every club in the lower divisions. Improvement will be relative to how others perform so any signings have to be almost guaranteed to be starters. No more cases like Jevani Brown or PCH who arrived with a fanfare and contributed almost nothing (for different reasons)

I’m not counting on any improvement from the coaching staff (although there is ample room for that)

7. The first thing they need to do is want to improve. For all Cowling’s strengths and commitment to the club I’ve never once felt that there is a real aspiration to progress. Survival may be all we can hope for next season, and let’s hope that is achieved, but that feels like the default setting under the current regime.

Poll: Safe standing at football; yes, know or don't know?

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Questions on 17:11 - Jun 24 with 380 viewsburnsieespana

1. Jackson
2. All bar Comley
3. Yes
4. Bramall
5.Little until season starts although do we know when the transfer deadline is going to be?
6. Yes
7. Take a chance on the young guns as can play without fear.
[Post edited 24 Jun 2020 17:12]
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