DANNY Cowley expects League Two to be a more open division, next season.

And the U’s boss believes it is possible for clubs to be successful, without the backing of a big budget.

Colchester are preparing for a brand new EFL campaign, which gets underway on August 10.


The U’s will no longer be competing against the likes of big-spending Wrexham and Stockport County, who won promotion to League One last season.

Port Vale, Fleetwood Town, Carlisle United and Cheltenham Town have come down from League One, while Chesterfield and Bromley have been promoted from the National League.

Colchester have so far added two new players to their squad, bringing in goalkeeper Matt Macey and winger Harry Anderson.

READ MORE: Chay Cooper leaves Colchester after snubbing new deal

Cowley said: “I think League Two is more open that it was, last year.

“You looked at Wrexham, Stockport, Mansfield, Doncaster and MK Dons being at the top of the division, last year and that’s what ended up happening.

“You can see the clubs that are being aggressive financially at the moment, in terms of their recruitment and the signings that they’ve made.

“But for me, it’s never been about money.

“Our first season at Braintree, I think our budget would have been 23rd or 24th in the division and we managed to finish third, so it’s always about how you spend and getting the best value and that’s what we’re trying to do.”


Colchester’s players report for pre-season training ahead of the new campaign on July 1.

They already have several friendlies lined up, with games against Cambridge United (August 3), Peterborough United (July 27) and Maldon and Tiptree (July 13) already in the diary, this summer.

“Our friendly schedule is pretty much finalised – we’re just doing the last little bits with the clubs that we’re going to,” added Cowley.

“We have a really competitive pre-season and I like the games to be really tough.

“You want it to be the biggest tests, because I think the best teams always give you that instant feedback and there’s no better time to learn than pre-season.

“It’s definitely the least painful time to learn.

“The bigger the test, the better and it gives us the best opportunity to develop the players physically, which is an important part of pre-season but most importantly, technically and tactically and help the team grow.”