ROBBIE Cowling says Colchester United should be ‘really proud’ of Sammie Szmodics’ achievements this season – regardless of any cut they might receive from a potential big-money transfer.

The former U’s favourite has just enjoyed an outstanding campaign with Blackburn Rovers, claiming the Championship Golden Boot after scoring 27 league goals and hitting the net a remarkable 33 times, in all competitions.

Szmodics also made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in a memorable season for the former Stanway School pupil, who made 165 appearances for his home town club Colchester between 2013 and 2019.

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The 28-year-old progressed from the U’s academy before shining for their first team and U’s chairman Cowling is delighted to see the club’s former young players do well.

Speaking at the club’s recent fans’ forum, Mr Cowling said: “Sammie is a really, really brilliant story and we should be really proud of him.

“The likes of Sammie, Junior Tchamadeu and Frankie Kent still love Colchester United and love the way the club has helped them.

“They’re still regularly in touch and they really want to see us do well.

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“Junior was in the away end at our game at Salford.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of what these boys have done and are still doing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the likes of Junior and Kwame Poku go on and do well – all of them.

“They’re great kids and they deserve a good future.

“I’ve said many times that I wouldn’t own a football club if we didn’t have a really thriving academy where we’re trying to develop young kids to do well.”

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Szmodics’ exploits for Blackburn this season have inevitably led to transfer speculation, with a host of Premier League clubs said to be interested in acquiring his services.

The U’s have benefited financially from Szmodics’ transfers since he left them to join Bristol City in the summer of 2019 and Mr Cowling said they are likely to do so again, should the Colchester-born attacker leave Ewood Park.

“We may get a little bit,” added the U’s owner and chairman.


“We had a sell on with Bristol (City), who then had a sell on with Peterborough, who then had a sell on with Blackburn, so some of that money trickles back.

“Whatever ends up going back to Bristol, we’ll get a percentage of that.

“It’s not going to be a lot but do you know what, I just think we should be really proud of Sammie Szmodics.”