COLCHESTER United’s players are set to report back for pre-season duty today, after their shortened summer break.

The U’s will be back at Florence Park as they embark on testing ahead of training, with Wayne Brown ready to start his first season in permanent charge following his full-time appointment last month.

Colchester’s players will return a week earlier than usual from pre-season, owing to the new season starting early due to the World Cup, in Qatar.

The opening day of the new League Two season will be Saturday, July 30, a week earlier than normal, with the EFL fixtures set to be released on Thursday.

Colchester will begin their pre-season friendly programme with a trip to play Championship side Reading, on July 2.

The behind-closed-doors match will take place at Reading's training ground, with Brown getting the chance to see his squad in action for the first time ahead of a brand new season.

The U's will also take on the likes of Millwall, Southend United and Bath City, as part of their preparations for the new campaign.


Colchester are yet to sign any new players this summer.

However, boss Brown believes the experienced players they brought in 12 months ago can play their part again, in the 2022-23 season - both on and off the pitch.

Colchester will once again have a host of senior performers in their ranks, including Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Alan Judge and Tommy Smith.

And boss Brown believes that can be a good thing for performances on the pitch, in addition to helping the club's talented young players in their progression to first-team football.

Brown said: “To be a success at any level, you do need individuals on the pitch like Skuse, like Chambo, like Judgey.

“Sometimes you need to get the balance right, in your squad.

“There was a lot made last summer about us signing players of a certain age.

“But what they give not just the team on a Saturday which is the be all and end all but what they’re also giving the young lads who are coming through the system is priceless.

“There’s a bigger picture, especially the way the club’s run.

“We want to get as many youngsters as we can through and those individuals are a massive help to the youngsters.

“They’re always tapping into the youngsters, which is a fantastic trait for them to have.

"It shows you the sort of quality and the men that they are, giving their experiences that they’ve had throughout their career into our youngsters.

“The information that they’re giving is top quality and can only benefit individuals and bring them on."