DANNY Cowley fully expects there to be interest in Colchester United’s talented young players, this summer.

But the U’s head coach insists the club want to enjoy seeing their fledgling stars flourish in the first team before they potentially move to higher-placed clubs.

The likes of Jayden Fevrier, Samson Tovide and Bradley Ihionvien all caught the eye this season for Colchester, having stepped up from academy football.

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Cowley says he is excited by the young talent currently at his disposal, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Cowley said: “I don’t see a more exciting football club in the country, if I’m honest, in terms of assets.

“There’s no surprise that we have so many scouts coming to all of our games.

“We’ve spoken about the crowds increasing in their numbers but part of those numbers in the back end of the season were scouts looking at the young ones.

“We know our phone is going to be busy in the summer but we also know that we have an owner in Robbie that wants to enjoy the young players first and wants to see the young players thrive, in the first team before we then look to sell them on to clubs higher up in the pyramid.

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“I just see it as really exciting, for the football club.”

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has invested heavily in the club’s academy set-up over a long period of time, ensuring the club meets Category Two status within the Elite Player Performance Plan.

As a result, the U’s have in recent years nurtured the likes of Sammie Szmodics, Frankie Kent, Junior Tchamadeu and Kwame Poku, all of whom are currently playing at a higher level.

“We have a really clear strategy as a football club,” added Cowley.

“We want to be a club that provides opportunities for young players, that develops young players, that enjoys those young players while they play in the first team and then is in a position to then hopefully sell those young players on to become assets, moving forward.

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“I think when you look at the history of this club, you have Sammie Szmodics who came through the academy here from a young age and was top scorer in the Championship, you have Junior (Tchamadeu) who we’ve just sold to Stoke for significant money – I don’t ever remember a right-back being sold from League Two, for that amount of money.

“Credit to everybody involved in that.

“You look at (Kwame) Poku at Peterborough; I’m sure if Barry Fry gets his way he’ll be sold for significant money and he’s such an exciting talent.

“We as a club now have got our own young players like Noah (Chilvers) who’s come all the way from the beginning all the way through to the first team and now he’s excelling at this level.

“Because of Dmitri’s knowledge and understanding of that market in particular, we’ve also been able to recruit boys like Jayden Fevrier and Jay Mingi who have become real live assets as well.”