Phil Parkinson believes his former club Colchester United have a bright future after his Bradford City side played out a 0-0 draw at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The former U’s boss claimed a point on his return to north Essex following a hard-fought contest and said he has been impressed by Colchester’s youth policy, which he feels is paying dividends.

Parkinson had a nucleus of talented youngsters in his squad when he led Colchester to a historic promotion to the Championship, in 2006.

And he feels the investment that chairman Robbie Cowling has put into the youth system is having the desired effect, eight years on.

Parkinson said: “Colchester have some good youngsters - we saw that last year when we played them in the youth final.

“You’re seeing the results of that now with the good young players and that’s what Colchester are all about.

“Robbie (Cowling) has pumped his money into the youth set-up and he’s reaping the dividends of that now, with some good young players.

“That’s what Colchester are all about.

“It was like that when I was there, when we had the likes of Greg Halford, Garry Richards, George Elokobi, Dean Gerken and John White.

“Those players supplemented the experienced players really well - they gave us a team spirit you can’t buy and contributed to the success we had.

“I have so many good memories here and I absolutely loved my time here.

“They’re one of the clubs whose results I will always look out for and I like to see them do well.

“I know Joe and Kinns (Mark Kinsella) well and I was sorry to see them go.

“But that’s what happens in football.”

For more on this story, along with five pages of coverage of the U's 0-0 draw with Bradford City, see Monday's Daily Gazette.