DANNY and Nicky Cowley’s arrival at Colchester United brought much excitement among the club’s fanbase, last month.

And the delight generated by their appointment was not just reserved to their supporters, according to U’s captain Connor Hall.

“When I first started to hear the rumours that they potentially could be coming in, I was excited to come in the next day to find out if it was them,” said the Colchester defender.

“I’ve played against Concord when the gaffer was managing them so I’ve seen their progress and I’ve always wanted to play for them, too.

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“It’s a great opportunity now that they’re in the building and I feel like they can really take this club forward.

“Especially from a fans’ point of view, nobody expected us to be able to get them and maybe if they didn’t have that connection with Essex, we probably wouldn’t have been able to get them.

“It’s just lucky enough that they’re from this sort of area and the two have come together and everyone’s really happy about it.”

Hall has started every game under the Cowleys so far, helping Colchester embark on a four-match unbeaten run.


The U’s form has improved after a sequence of eight defeats in ten league games, prior to the new management team taking over.

“It’s been brilliant – I can’t say a bad word, to be honest,” said former Port Vale defender Hall.

“Training has been really good, the results are nearly there albeit we still haven’t lost a game and it’s the way I want to play football, on the front foot.

“I feel like that gets me my best football and I feel that we have the players to do that as well.

“We’re enjoying every minute of it and we go into each game believing that we can get points and that’s a massive factor.

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“It’s a really good vibe in the group at the moment.

“We feel like we’re not far off putting a string of wins together.

“We probably should have had that already but the main thing is we’re not losing games at the moment, so we go into it really confident.

“We feel a stronger and more physical team than we did earlier in the season and the stats back that up as well.

“The management team have really drilled that into us in training and in video sessions and we’re starting to really believe it now.

“It’s really obvious how they want us to play and the fans can see that.


“The presence that both of them bring in training and in the meeting room is a really good feel-good factor and everyone is driving in the same direction.

“I don’t think that win is too far away and we’ll keep working on the training pitch and it will come out on game time.”

Hall now feels he is back to near full fitness, following the hernia surgery that kept him out for a six-week period in the first half of the campaign.

The 30-year-old was thrust into a busy game programme upon his return to the squad last December, something he admits was not ideal.

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Hall said: “I feel a lot better now in myself.

“The games that I came back in after the injury, I hadn’t really trained at all.

“I sort of got chucked straight back in and I shouldn’t have really played the minutes that I did play but didn’t really have any other option to.

“But now I’m feeling fit, I’m feeling fresh and I’ve not really got that niggle that was there.

“It’s kind of there a little bit but nowhere near what it was like.

“It’s just about continuing my rehab and trying to win games for the football club.


“It wasn’t easy coming back in that period but I tried to make sure I was as ready as I could be.

“I just tried playing for as long as I could, simple as that.

“I think the first game I came back in was Salford and I started to feel my previous pain after about 30 minutes but I knew how important it was to try to get a win.

“After that, I just tried to build up my minutes as much as I could without being in too much pain.

“Now I’m able to play 90 minutes without any pain, so that feels really good.”

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Hall is preparing to return to his former club Harrogate Town tomorrow, as Colchester aim to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.

Hall played more than 100 games between 2019 and 2022 for Harrogate, who are in fine form and pushing for the League Two play-offs under Simon Weaver.

Hall added: “It’s credit to the management team, credit to the owner and the players that are doing it at the moment.

“I had a fantastic time there and I’ve got no bad word to say about them, I think they’re a really good club.

“I admire their manager and management team and I’m glad they’re doing really well but hopefully, they don’t do very well on Saturday!”