BEN Garner says he is willing to be patient in this summer’s transfer window in order to ensure Colchester United sign the ‘right players’.

The U’s are set for a busy summer of recruitment, after a total of 15 players were released by the club following the announcement of their retained list.

Working closely with U's head of recruitment Ross Embleton and sporting director Dmitri Halajko, boss Garner is expecting a hectic period in preparation for the new League Two season, which will get underway on August 5.

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The U’s head coach says he would ideally like to have all of his new signings in place by the time they begin pre-season, in early July but has stressed it is vital that the club make the right decisions, in the transfer window.

Garner said: “In an ideal world, you want your squad in place on the first day of pre-season and then you’ve got all of that time to work with them.

“I know that’s not going to be the case and it has to be the right players.

Gazette: Ben Garner

“What we’re not going to do is just fill spaces in the squad to get players in early, when they’re not the right ones.

“I would love to have some in, on the first day of pre-season and have a nucleus of a squad, ready to go.

“But sometimes you have to be patient and wait maybe a few weeks, to get the right player that you think is going to make the difference or be the right character that we need.

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“There’s no magic formula for that – it’s a case of taking it as it comes, being as pro-active as we can, doing as much work as we can which we are doing and then get that squad in place as quickly as we can.”

The EFL has confirmed the opening and closing dates for the 2023/24 summer and winter transfer windows.


The summer transfer window will open from June 14 2023 and will close on Friday September 1, at 11pm.

The winter transfer window will open on January 1 2024 and close on Thursday February 1 2024, at 11pm.

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The factors impacting on the specific dates include alignment with other European Leagues and meeting FIFA’s requirement for transfer windows to be open for a maximum of 112 days, in any one season.