This is only the beginning for home-grown talent believes Colchester United boss Dunne (From Gazette)
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This is only the beginning for home-grown talent believes Colchester United boss Dunne
7:00am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in Sport
THE emergence of Colchester United’s academy players is “only the beginning” of what is to come, according to manager Joe Dunne.
Home-grown youngsters such as Macauley Bonne, Sammie Szmodics and Alex Gilbey are all set to travel with the U’s for their game at Rotherham United today.
Colchester’s up-and-coming youngsters have been a hot topic of conversation this week, following Bonne’s fairytale winner against Peterborough United.
And Dunne believes the rise in prominence of the likes of Bonne, Szmodics and Drey Wright is only the start of things.
Dunne said: “It’s the way we’re going to go forward and we have gone down this route.
“It’s only the beginning, so we’ll see where it takes us.
“It’s what we believe in - the academy staff believe in me and I believe in them.
“It must be great being in our youth team changing room knowing that you have an opportunity.
“We already knew that these guys were doing well.
“It’s been coming, because we’ve given development contracts out early to players.
“We can say, “you’ve been a good 16-year-old, you’re here until you’re 20”.
“That ties them up and they can see a clear pathway to the first team, which is our philosophy.
“It’s probably happened a year quicker but I believe that if they’re good enough, they’re old enough.
“It’s a case of getting the balance of how many games they can play without burn out.
“There are others who have been on the bench and the bus travelling with us and there are a lot more than those who are playing for us at the moment.”
Colchester travel to play Rotherham United at the New York Stadium today, hoping to follow up their win over Peterborough.
The Millers were undefeated in their opening eight league games, following their promotion from League Two last season.
However, they are currently without a win in their last four league games.
“I’m pretty sure that Rotherham’s main ambition is to jump into the Championship straight away,” added Dunne, who led a double training session with his U’s squad at Florence Park on Thursday.
“It’s a hard league but Rotherham had a good start and they’ll be looking to take advantage of being at home.
“But we’ve been pretty good away from home this season and we’ve got some players who are playing well at the moment.”
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