COLCHESTER United promotion hero Kevin Watson says he expects his old club to do well this season after pitting his wits against them last night.

The former U’s playmaker, who helped the club achieve their highest-ever finish when they secured tenth in the Championship in the 2006-07 season, saw his Billericay Town side take on his former club in a pre-season friendly, at New Lodge.

After a goal-less first half, the U’s ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals after the break from Alan Judge, Freddie Sears and trialist, Richard Kone.

And after seeing Hayden Mullins’ new-look team at first hand, Watson says his former club look like they have a strong squad.

“I was really impressed by Colchester,” said Watson, who made more than 150 league and cup appearances for the U’s between 2004 and 2008.

“I like the way they played, they moved the ball.

“If we came high up the pitch, they were clever enough to spin it behind us; if we dropped then they’d wait patiently.

“They were clinical in the second half and it looks like a strong squad to me.

“They’ve got a lot of quality players and I’d expect them to do well.”

Billericay more than held their own against Colchester in the first half of the friendly, creating plenty of chances of their own in a goal-less opening period.

But the U’s showed their class after half-time, against their National League South opponents.


Both sides made numerous changes throughout the match, with Colchester fielding a different side in each half in their first friendly of the summer.

“It became very difficult for the younger lads when I made all of the changes but in pre-season, that’s always going to happen,” said former Spurs youngster Watson.

“We have a core of 13 or 14 senior players at the minute but it’s obviously our first game and you’re not going to play them for 90 minutes.

“It’s 60-65 at the most – I did leave Lawrie Wilson on who’s getting on in years – he won’t mind me saying!

“He was in the middle of a back three and still very good.

“For the first half and in the first 15 minutes of the season half before the changes, I was pleased.

“What I said to the lads is that they’re not going to play League Two teams and in my opinion, good League Two teams like that every single week.

“Arguably, our shape worked really well in the first half and we probably had the better chances, I would say."

Watson is busy planning for the new Vanarama National League South season, having arrived at Billericay in mid-January.

He added: “We always knew that Colchester were going to move the ball really well which they did, so there was no point going chasing it in silly areas.

“Although it is pre-season, I was sort of caught between ‘you’ve got to run and get your fitness in’ and then being sensible about it.

“But I thought our shape was good and I thought we showed them into areas where we were strong and I thought we looked good on the break.

“It was one-two touch, played quickly and we had one or two chances, which I was pleased about.

“The game fell apart a bit with all of the changes but they’re young boys and they’re going to learn.

"They will learn to be out there and as we move further forward in pre-season, the boys in the main group will be getting more minutes.

“But for 60 minutes, I was delighted - it was 0-0 and I couldn’t complain about that.”