Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

South Africa 2010: Coyne's Pot Of Gold

South Africa 2010: Coyne's Pot Of Gold


These are Chris Coyne`s numbered days. The number five`s steady corrosion from new-age Iron Man into fragile mortality is the most alarming decline of the season. That`s sometimes what happens when you put athletes on a pedestal on a partisan whim: they crash 'n` burn. Cue the boomerang of bad judgement, returning to hit you in the mouth.

Last August, the defender was hailed as standard-bearer for all things fresh about Colchester United: an Australian international of increasing repute would give his vintage years to the U`s as a leader. Captain Coyne`s mission was to steer the re-fashioned corporate ship in a direction that moved United from the alternative galaxy of Layer Road and into the real world.

That branding hasn`t worked. Not personally for Coyne, at least. He`s become the extra in his own career movie at domestic level, replaced as skipper by Dean Hammond. Coyne lost responsibility for on-field duties almost as soon as manager Paul Lambert arrived in the autumn. Now his title of club captain, a title of little meaning which he retains, rings hollow.

It`s a bad season when you stand more chance of selection for the national side than your club. Coyne`s five caps since June are a progression not mirrored in Essex, where he spends relatively more time in the treatment room than actually on the pitch. The mystery is that the 30-year-old has declared himself unfit for League One games on a number of occasions, only to suddenly fly the globe for World Cup qualifiers. He`s played just 19 times for United this term.

Coyne`s aim is South Africa 2010, but it is also his myopia. Talking last month, he admitted the distraction: "Any young kid that starts playing football would want the opportunity, but it is 18 months away and it's something that would only cross your mind as it gets closer and closer." Given his lack of action and repetitive comments in the media, you`d be forgiven for thinking that it is the only thing on his mind.

A transfer to Perth Glory, the chance to play alongside his brother, Jamie, in a newly founded league on alternative hemispheres beckons, then. Coyne keeps repeating the mantra that he will only go if his national boss tells him a step-down in the quality of football won`t jeopardise his national chances.

Soon he may not have a choice. Injuries and jetset-dotting have made him a liability for Lambert. That much was clear when Neil Trotman arrived on loan from Preston just as Chris was making a return to fitness, having played matches against Swindon and Crew. Today, even, as centre-back Matt Heath returns from a spell away with Brighton, competition for places increases further.

No fitness, and no hope of a recall. That`s the bleakest possible reading of Conye`s situation.

Few fans beg to differ. A poll on this website shows almost ninety percent of fans believe Coyne will leave England by the time the summer sun evaporates, even if he himself seems less sure. "It could be six weeks, or six months or six years, but I've got a box to tick and it's something I'd like to do sooner rather than later."

It will be interesting to see how many games Coyne merits between now and May. A new twist is that he travelled the globe for the last two Australia fixtures but ended both times an unused substitute. The cost of playing football for his country was his league starting-place; now he needs football to get back into the Australia team.

The longer Coyne spends in Colchester`s no-man`s land, of course, the more seductive those calls to come home will become.

Loss of his Socceroo spot hastens the inevitable. These, after fifteen years and four clubs in the UK, are Chris Coyne`s numbered days.

We want to know YOUR thoughts...



For the very latest League One odds

Free £15 bet when you spend £5 on The New Football Pools

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

Date:Tuesday April 7 2009
Time: 3:18PM


Good article, definatly think his days here are numbered. Up the U's!
StevieG Col U
10/04/2009 08:27:00
Good article, definatly think his days here are numbered. Up the U's!
StevieG Col U
10/04/2009 08:27:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

No More ******* Bad Language - EFL

The Football League, or EFL for those with a rebrand nature, have called on fans across the country to say no to 'starry' language or no more...

FA Cup First Round Proper - Full Draw (17/10/16)

The draw for the first round of the FA Cup took place earlier this evening.

Colchester's FA Cup Ball Number Known (17/10/16)

With the FA Cup first round draw later this evening (Monday), clubs have been allocated ball numbers for the first stage of this year's competition.

A Festive 10 In 10 From Sky Sports

Sky Sports have announced that they will be screening 19 Football League matches across the month of December in a 'festive football feast' for the fans.

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win40%
Rochdale win60%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
19 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
20 Barnet 13 3 6 4 15 -4
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 12 1 4 7 7 -8
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Yeovil Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Crewe Alexandra (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
The Vital Football Members League