UK time is: 23:04:56
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Many skippers spoiling a myth

A new Iron Man will smash up times past

You`ve heard the one about cooks and a broth, but at Colchester United this summer it`s a case of too many skippers spoiling a myth.

With the squad`s ex-captain quota of four, and the magic armband free for redistribution, pity the fool talking of a spineless side. All eyes hit the chalkboard: who will be the U`s new Iron Man?

The abdication of King Karl Duguid from his right-wing responsibilities means the ship is without a skipper for the first time since 2004. This leaves the door ajar, first, for candidates with previous experience from other outfits: Dean Hammond (Brighton), Chris Coyne (Luton), Matt Lockwood (Layton Orient) and Paul Reid (Barnsley).

Asking someone to follow Duguid`s lead, though, is like taking to the wicket after a great batsman or entering an open-mike night with an audience already rolling in the isles; like showing the watchmaker a good digital clock and like impressing the conjurer with the flourish of a magic-trick. Damn near impossible.

It is all those things, and more, because Duguid`s legacy as Mr. Colchester supreme is almost bullet proof, his shadow infinite. He is the man with an indelible name. Yet, the Duguid days are locked in the mind`s vault now - chained to disused Layer Road turnstiles.

Changing faces and trading places. Topping transfer records. This July Colchester United are not simply letting history retire with a slow waltz so much as smashing it up with a bat. Those who wanted wholesale changes following the club`s first relegation for almost twenty years are getting their wish.

The purists will tell you that values are being swept under the plastic turf as Colchester goes corporate. Paying agent fees, spending money, selling more merchandise, developing a brand with less taste than the average half-time pie. These things made life-long fan Bob Russell turn his back on the club, all the more surprising since he is an MP. Maybe Duguid felt that wind of change, too, after fourteen years and it literally blew him away.

Russell might be wholly right, half right, or maybe just a quarter right when he says United are carving out a piece of their soul to satisfy a cold, hard, business world. When the new stadium at Cuckoo Farm is re-named The Weston Homes Community Stadium, you really do wonder. RIP any idea of democracy marrying with heritage to call the site Boudicca Bowl.

However, in order to survive as a market-place commodity, which the club agreed to become right from the moment they asked the council to finance their 14-million new ground, they were inviting Russell`s charge.

Since owner and chairman Robbie Cowling does not fall into the oligarch category, it is a safe bet that his party politics won`t interfere with the most intriguing race for a captain`s armband since David Beckham relinquished his England role.

A general feeling is that the most experienced player should assume responsibility, because captaincy could become a burden if given to the wrong man.

On scores of age, pedigree and soccer wisdom, Chris Coyne could claim this task as another scalp for his impressive CV. The former Luton centre-back and Australian international has a natural aura that breeds fear into the opposition and commands respect from his peers.

Likewise, with youngster, Dean Hammond. He is a tireless midfield worker where the nuts-and-bolts of a game are unscrewed, with an eye for goal and a robust nature. It balances against his smile, a kind usually confined to a glossy magazine`s pages.

Would it be breaking a code, though, to give the captaincy duty to relative outsiders like Hammond and Coyne, who both joined just six months ago? Some think so, leaving only an inner-section of names to fill the void - Pat Baldwin, Kem Izzet and Johnnie Jackson are the trio that spring forward.

In a magic circle of one also sits Dean Gerken, although youth and his sometimes hothead temperament count against him here. Gerken is the only current regular since Duguid to have risen through the club`s youth ranks and into the first-team.

Whoever is eventually selected to command the troops will need to be a dead certain starter on a Saturday, and a Wednesday, when the wounds pile up and the pains, like the games, come thick and fast.

So it`s an eight-horse race, at least. Yet, through football`s wilderness, nobody ever heard of a quiet captain. You can bet Colchester`s newest leader will be screaming Blue 'n` White murder before too long.

Hull of a Plan


If Crystal Place sign Mark Yeates and Kevin Lisbie this week, we might as well award them the Championship trophy now and have done with it.

Last time two Colchester men swapped shirts together, when Richard Garcia and Wayne Brown went to Hull City twelve months ago, their new club won promotion.

Okay, it is not a pattern. Yet.

U`s Ball of Contention

Stop Press: Colchester`s move to a new stadium will not be without a hint of historic old times, after all. How so, you cry?

Well, after the town`s borough council expressed concern that stray footballs might fly out onto the A12 motorway at Cuckoo Farm, this corespondent finds that the club lost 700 pounds-worth of far-booted balls in 1987.

Some things never change.





Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Matt_Us Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 8 2008

Time: 3:15PM

Your Comments

colchester ***** ***** *****
htfc4lyfe95
only jokin. i bet u get promoted. n since were the first to ure new staium. expect us to be party poopers
htfc4lyfe95
Thanks for that! lol Well still no inkling on who will be the new skipper!
StevieG Col U
Yuu Called Us S**T Last Time?
Daryl Peck
Surely the only two logical candidates are coyne and Jackson as the others have literally just joined the club
ooohhJohnnieJackson
palace won't get up....they will still find a way of messing it up as of late.....
ernshaw
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Colchester United Articles

Cardiff Cup-Tie On The BBC (Tuesday December 16 2014)

Stats: U's v Rochdale (Saturday December 13 2014)

New Deal For Former Chelsea 'Keeper (Saturday December 13 2014)

Packwood Back With Birmingham (Saturday December 13 2014)

Team News: U's v Rochdale (Saturday December 13 2014)

Cup Windfall Could Extend Defender Stay (Wednesday December 10 2014)

Colchester Handed Cardiff Tie (Tuesday December 9 2014)

Gorkss Agrees Short-Term Deal (Sunday December 7 2014)

Archived Colchester United Articles

List All Vital Colchester Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Matt_Us 1

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
18. Gillingham 20 5 7 8 -6 22
19. Scunthorpe 19 6 4 9 -9 22
20. Crawley 20 5 7 8 -11 22
21. Yeovil 20 5 5 10 -12 20
22. Leyton Orient 20 4 7 9 -6 19
23. Colchester 20 4 5 11 -13 17
24. Crewe 20 4 4 12 -23 16

Breaking League News

Sheffield United Get Tottenham
Sheff Utd : 17/12/2014 22:48:00
Scunthorpe : 17/12/2014 22:46:00
League Cup - Sheff United 1-0 Southampton
Sheff Utd : 17/12/2014 21:29:00
Final Call: Back the City This Saturday
Coventry : 17/12/2014 20:04:00
Worcester v Scunthorpe: Team Line-Ups
Scunthorpe : 17/12/2014 19:29:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Yeovil v Colchester?
Suggested By:  
Colchester win 34%
Yeovil win 33%
Draw 33%