COLCHESTER United have made seven new signings this summer, with more set to follow.

The U’s have signed Lyle Taylor, Jack Payne, Rob Hunt, Ben Goodliffe, JK Gordon, Harry Anderson and Matt Macey.

A host of players have gone the other way including Connor Hall, Jayden Fevrier, Jay Mingi and John Akinde, while the future of several other players remains uncertain.

Whatever happens, Danny Cowley’s starting line-up for Colchester’s opening game of the season at AFC Wimbledon on August 10 promises to be very different to the one that finished the last League Two season.

The Gazette looks at the comings and goings at the U’s over the summer, and how they could line up at Plough Lane.

A QUICK glance at Colchester United’s starting line-up for their final game of the season against Crewe Alexandra little more than two months ago serves to illustrate just how many transition there has been within Danny Cowley’s squad so far this summer, with more changes set to follow.

The U’s line-up against Alex, a game which they drew 1-1 to secure their League Two status, was the following: Hornby, Kelleher, Hall, Mingi, Iandolo, Read, McGeehan, Chilvers, Hopper, Fevrier, Akinde.

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It’s not unusual for such changes to be made throughout the summer at a football club, especially one that has struggled against relegation.

Nevertheless, the Colchester line-up that runs out at Plough Lane to face AFC Wimbledon on August 10 could conceivably show seven changes to the one that finished the previous campaign.

Of the Colchester team that started against Crewe, five have definitely left the club – John Akinde, Jayden Fevrier, Jay Mingi, Connor Hall and Sam Hornby while two – Cameron McGeehan and Noah Chilvers, are now out of contract and free to talk to other clubs.

Of the two, Chilvers is the more likely to be at the U’s next season, with McGeehan highly unlikely to return to the JobServe Community Stadium for a second campaign.


If both McGeehan and Chilvers leave, it will mean only Fiacre Kelleher, Ellis Iandolo, Arthur Read and Tom Hopper remain at the club from that final-day starting line-up.

It illustrates the amount of change that has taken place at the JobServe Community Stadium since the final day of last season, with more set to follow.

So far, Colchester have brought in seven new signings, many of whom have joined over the last few days.

Lyle Taylor, Jack Payne, Rob Hunt, Ben Goodliffe, JK Gordon, Harry Anderson and Matt Macey have all arrived at the club, players covering all positions in the squad.

Matt Macey has strengthened the goalkeeper options, following the departure of Sam Hornby and Owen Goodman’s return to Crystal Palace, following the completion of his season-long loan.

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The U’s defensive options have been bolstered by the addition of Ben Goodliffe and Rob Hunt, with reinforcements needed in that area after the departure of the likes of Hall, Mingi and Tom Dallison.

Payne’s arrival adds creativity in the midfield which could potentially be diminished by the loss of Chilvers, while the addition of Anderson and JK Gordon has provided attacking options.

Rumours are abound of further additions; the likes of Alex Woodyard, Lee Brown and Teddy Bishop have all been linked, with more changes expected.

(Image: WWW.CU-FC.COM)

At this stage though, the U’s line-up for their opening game at AFC Wimbledon could well be: Macey, Hunt, Goodliffe, Kelleher, Iandolo, Read, Payne, Anderson, Gordon, Taylor, Tovide, with the likes of Mandela Egbo, Tom Hopper and Bradley Ihionvien also pushing for a starting spot.

The fact that there have been so many arrivals and departures at Colchester over the last few weeks should be no real surprise.

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Speaking at the end of last season, Cowley explicitly announced that there would be plenty of transition, promising a revolution.

“There needs to be a lot of change. We have to try to do what is right for the club,” said the U’s boss.

“Part of our job this summer is to recruit players that can make us significantly better - but also, when we get those players, how can we maximise their attributes and their potential?”

With more new faces set to arrive before the transfer window closes on September 2, it promises to be an exciting time for Colchester fans eager to see how their new-look team fares in League Two.