THE sun was shining, the away fans were in full voice.

With such an upbeat positive atmosphere, it almost felt like the first game of a new promising season for Colchester United, not the final game of a campaign that has been very tough to watch at times.

This is testament to the work that all connected to the club have put in since Wayne Brown took charge.

The win up in Hartlepool meant we finished the last four games with ten points out of a possible 12, the kind of form that would have seen us up and around the play-offs if not automatic promotion.

But in a season of ifs, buts and maybes, such thoughts are just that; what we need to do now is look at where we finished, not necessarily in league position but more in performance and playing style, that can be taken forward to next season.

I will admit that I have been wrong about Wayne and his team.

At the time of his interim appointment, I did not feel he was the man for the full-time role.

But this has well and truly been turned on its head over the run in with not only the results, but also in the game management and how there is a connection returning between players and fans.


I know there is the issue with U's internal appointments but this time, I think it will work.

We have more players under contact for at least another season than leaving, so already the foundations are there and with a few additions, the squad has all the makings of one that can bring more joy than disappointment, next term.

Wayne needs to be confirmed in a permanent role early to put that discussion to bed, in order for the players to know where they stand and also for transfer targets to know who they will be playing under.

One thing that the last few games have shown is that we play much better with two up top and the partnership of Freddie Sears and John Akinde has a lot of promise.

I was pleased to see the three young players – Chay Cooper, Kaan Bennett and Bradley Ihionvien - get their chance to make appearances off the bench, an experience that can only aid their development.


Cooper's goal would have been a contender for Goal of the Season, had it not already been decided.

But it does show there are players in the pipeline who have the ability to step up and will hopefully feature more, in the future plans.

What will be key is to see who is leaving and then who to replace them with, either from the market or to allow young players the chance to shine.

There are already a number of players who are subject to transfer speculation and in the coming weeks, I’m sure more will join the debate.

It is not my place to throw fuel on that fire but I am sure we could all name one or two players that will be leaving us for pastures new.

Whatever happens, the feeling as the curtain fell upon another season was one of renewed hope and optimism that the corner has been turned and that soon, it will be a good time to be a U’s fan.

While I could carry on for longer, I will leave my additional thoughts on what we need to do to improve for my next column.

For now, let’s just enjoy the sunshine and the highlights of a fantastic day up in the North East. Up the U’s.