DAVE Huzzey believes Colchester United's talented youngsters will thrive on the high standards created at the club.

The U's raised the bar under Wayne Brown in the final few months of last season, with their fledgling stars playing their part in their rise up the League Two table.

Huzzey has had a foot in both camps, having moved up from his role as Colchester's academy manager to assist Brown in the first team, alongside Joe Dunne.

And the newly-installed permanent assistant head coach says the likes of Junior Tchamadeu, Chay Cooper and Gene Kennedy have plenty to strive for, next season.

Huzzey said: “I’ve been really impressed since being at the football club about how well structured it is in terms of the academy and how much belief there is in the players who have come through.

“There’s definitely opportunities.

“The good thing and the pleasing thing over the last few months has been that the standard has gone even higher now, in terms of the training ground but also the standard of performance, so these young players have now got something to look to and aim for.

“I think that’s something that the young players will thrive on and first and foremost, the first team will perform better because of it.

“We’ve got a pool of players who we really believe in.


“Some aren’t ready to step straight in now and the mixture between the senior first-team players and the younger players bridging that gap with letting the young players flourish with some real good experience shared by the senior players will be really beneficial for them.

“I think with the right environment set which we have done so far, we can see the rewards for that."

Huzzey was appointed Colchester's assistant head coach on a permanent basis last month, having served in the role in an interim basis since January.

The former Southend United under-23 boss says his link between the U's senior team and the youth set-up is crucial.

“The relationship that I’ve built with the academy over the last three years isn’t just going to go," added Huzzey.

“I think it’s really important that we still have that connection and that link, because there’s some real good work gone into the academy from key individuals within the academy.

“That relationship won’t stop and I’m quite pleased that I get to view it from a different stance and see how it develops and continues to over the next few years."