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International youngsters on U's radar
Colchester United have set their sights on snapping up more young international talent to follow in the footsteps of Patrick O’Shea.
The athletic Australian midfielder signed for the U’s last month, following a successful trial at the League One club last season.
Colchester are keen for O’Shea, who scored on his debut in their FA Youth Cup game against Plymouth Argyle last month, can progress from the under-18s to eventually play at first-team level.
And the U’s are hoping that he will be one of a number of young international players they attract in the years to come, as the continue to put faith in their Academy starlets.
Academy manager Tony Humes said: “Hopefully there might be an opportunity to bring more over - we’re trying to recruit good players who can take the club forward.
“We’re trying to bring in players who will fit into our philosophy and try and get the ball down and play.
“There’s also an opportunity for anybody, if they’re a good player.
“The biggest thing for me is that we can attract these kids and let them know that they will get an opportunity with us.
“Colchester is a League One club - we might not be a Chelsea or a Aston Villa but will the kids realistically get a chance there? Possibly not.
“But any kid with talent will definitely get an opportunity with us and that’s why we’re trying to improve our recruitment.”
Joe Dunne says finding players in and around the Colchester remains the club’s top recruitment goal.
But the U’s first-team boss insists they are now on the lookout for young players from all over the globe.
Dunne said: “The talent pool can’t just be restricted to one area and it’s unrealistic to think that.
“We must open our mind now to Europe or even the world and you can’t discount anything.
“Our first priority is to find talent in our local area, because local players are important.
“If you can get the best players, you’ve got the best chance of getting them into your Academy.
“Recruitment is key, no matter what level you’re at.
“We’re recruiting players from all over the place, from every different background.
“We have national teams phoning us up asking us about the nationality of players and we have so much good going forward.
“Patrick will be pushing towards the under-21s.
“Patrick is not the first Australian we’ve had at Colchester and with his passport, he also qualifies for the Republic of Ireland I think.
“It just shows where we are and it’s a different place to what we was a few years ago.”
For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.
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