MUCH of Matty Etherington’s successful playing career as a flying winger occurred at a fast pace.

Now his time as a head coach is seemingly unfolding at a similarly rapid speed, following his appointment today as Colchester United’s new boss.

The 42-year-old has certainly experienced a quick elevation at the U’s, from arriving as under-21 lead coach in July to today being named as the club’s new permanent head coach.

READ MORE: Colchester appointed Matty Etherington as new head coach

And after passing his audition as interim boss with flying colours, having led Colchester to ten points from a possible 12 in the four league games he presided over, the former Spurs and West Ham United winger will now be aiming to continue the good work and build on the solid foundations he has built as a coach.

Etherington said himself last weekend that there has been nothing revolutionary about what he has done since taking charge of the first team last month, following Ben Garner’s dismissal as head coach.

But there certainly seems to have been an increased feel-good factor about the U’s squad since Etherington took charge, something that has been reflected in their results on the pitch.


“There’s probably been a mindset change,” said Etherington, after a last-gasp goal against Sutton United denied his team a fourth successive league win last weekend.

“Everyone’s enjoying coming into work and coming into the training ground and I think if you breed that within the staff, players etc then you’ve got a chance of going on and being successful.”

Indeed, the recent rhetoric among Colchester’s players has highlighted a positive response to Etherington’s arrival in charge of the first team.

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“Maybe the fans can see it more than anyone else but it looks like there’s a sense of freedom out there,” reflected Colchester midfielder Arthur Read, after the Sutton game.

“You can see the boys are playing with confidence and running at players and we’re enjoying playing under him.

“We just want to keep winning and I think we’ve all enjoyed the last three weeks he’s been here.”

There are both short term and long term challenges that await Etherington and Colchester.


His first game in permanent charge of the U’s could hardly be any tougher; a trip to play the league leaders, Stockport County, this weekend.

Etherington and Colchester will be without their leading scorer Joe Taylor and their club captain, Connor Hall for the game at Edgeley Park due to international duty and injury respectively, making the challenge this weekend that little bit harder.

Nevertheless, there’s no reason for the U’s to fear the leaders, given that their last two league away games have resulted in victories.

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In the long term, Etherington will be tasked with lifting Colchester up the table and turning them into a team capable of challenging for promotion.

Whether or not that happens this season remains to be seen but if he can maintain the kind of influence and impact he enjoyed in his interim spell in charge, there is no reason why that cannot happen, particularly when players return from injury.

Etherington’s own rise at Colchester has been a quick one; now as their new head coach, he will be striving to ensure his team’s elevation up the League Two table is a rapid one, too.