Writer: Colchester Dan
Date:Friday February 1 2013
The U's were busy throughout the January transfer window as Joe Dunne took the opportunity to begin shaping his squad, and building from what he inherited upon stepping up the managerial position in September.
In more recent days, Dominic Samuel completed his loan spell and returned to Reading, Tom Aldred was released and has since signed for Accrington Stanley and Carl Pentney, Tom Bender, Ian Henderson and Michael Rose have all mutually cancelled their contracts to whittle the squad down further.
One man who won't be going anywhere for the foreseeable future is Clacton-born Tom Eastman, who signed a new two and a half year deal yesterday to extend his stay with Joe Dunne until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Having signed for the U's after turning down a six-month deal with Ipswich back in the summer of 2011, the 21-year old has established himself as a mainstay of the U's youthful, new-look defence.
Speaking to BBC Essex, he admitted that the security was something he couldn't turn down, particularly after his episode at Portman Road.
'We've been chatting for a few weeks and it's obviously a good deal for me, so I'm glad to stay for a bit longer,' he admitted.
'I'm enjoying my football here. At Ipswich nothing was getting sorted out and they only offered me six months, so I came here on a good two-year deal to get that security to play more and it's been a good move for me.
'I'm very lucky to have that, and it's a good opportunity with the gaffer and chairman showing their faith in me, so I have to repay that.'
Initially Tom took his time to settle down at the U's and found himself out on loan to Crawley who were chasing promotion from League Two where he racked up six appearances and made a good impression.
Upon his return he was thrown straight into the U's starting eleven and hasn't looked back since, going on to pick up the Young Player of the Year award at the end of last season.
He reflected: 'The loan move to Crawley was a good move for me, and I wasn't expected to go straight in when I came back but I got a few games, did quite well and kept my place.
'It's still tough in League One and there are some good players, such as Jordan Rhodes last year who is doing really well in the Championship. But I'd played a few games up there which helps and we had good partnerships, a good back four and a good team.
'It's a good club, I'm a local boy and it's good having my family and my girlfriend close around me.'
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Date:Friday February 1 2013
League 1 MOTM: January Nomination (Dunne) (Wednesday February 5 2014)
Safe Standing - Fans Must Act Now! (Monday January 20 2014)
2006 - U's March To The Top (Thursday February 7 2013)
2006 - Parky's Cup Heroes (Monday January 28 2013)
2007 - U's Visit Portman Road (Sunday January 20 2013)
2010 - Lambert's U's Return (Wednesday January 16 2013)
2011 - Late Drama From Gilly (Monday January 14 2013)
1999 - Introducing Lua Lua (Wednesday January 9 2013)
2000 - Lua Lua Steals Late Win (Tuesday January 8 2013)
2006 - Late Layer Road Drama (Wednesday January 2 2013)
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