FOOTBALL fans always like to sing about a player being one of their own.

Well now Colchester United have for the first time in our history a manager who is actually one of our own.

Steve Ball was born in Colchester, has played for the club, has been part of the academy coaching staff and more recently, was first team assistant manager.

He really does deserve his chance to step up into the main role and show everyone what he has learnt, along with putting his own spin on things.

He has the respect of the players, knows them, as well as understanding the set-up in order to develop the fringe players.

In the current situation it seems an ideal mix; the Covid-19 situation has caused a very strange set of circumstances in which funds and clubs' abilities to spend will be limited.

Therefore, we need someone who can utilise what we have in order to be in a position to challenge in the League, while at the same time managing the off-field situation to allow Colchester United to survive the pandemic in the best shape for the future.

Steve has taken over in a set of circumstances that have never been experienced before; he will have to navigate the League campaign without knowing the situation that will pan out.

Preparing for a season with untold restraints and the lack of fans within the grounds, along with any change in the Covid-19 restriction measures that may well make the whole challenge harder, even if we should be thinking positive and hope for improvement.

As a fanbase, there has been a lot of negative reaction to the appointment – although I personally feel this is unjustified.

We should now, as a fanbase, get behind Steve and the lads - let's give them our full support and start the new season on the right foot and see where we are come January before making any real judgement.

Another thing that has been talked about is the salary cap that is in the process of being finalised with in the EFL pyramid.

This will allow a partial reset in how clubs recruit and how much they can pay players as a whole.

We have some big earners at the U’s (for our comparison level) so will be interesting to see how this also has an effect in the future.

Right now it seems a case of understanding the rules and putting the current wages into the new system and seeing where there are areas to spend or sadly even having to reduce.

In the wider picture hopefully this will go some way to ensuring a situation like Bury and what has been seen at other clubs is a thing of the past.

So now we have a new manager in place and a squad who are back in training as of this week, we are starting to see the preparations for next season take shape.

Fingers crossed this is all followed by the unveiling of our new away kit.

We have, it feels, been waiting ages since the shots of the socks and shorts were previewed to actually showing us the shirt - hopefully it will be a thing of beauty and be worth the wait.

We will also get the fixtures released soon now that the National League play-offs have been sorted and Harrogate have been promoted along with Barrow.

It's two new grounds for most and hopefully fixtures that will be later in the calendar with the possibility of away fans attending.

Until the next time, stay safe and keep smiling. Up the U’s.