Date:Monday May 21 2007
Colchester United`s Chris Iwelumo finally left the club today, but will be sorely missed by all U`s fans, as well as fellow strike partner Jamie Cureton, who wished him well in the East Anglian Daily Times.
It is thought that Iwleumo, 28, was persuaded, beyond the obvious financial motivation to join the recently relegated side by the club`s scout, Mark Kinsella and assistant manager, Phil Parkinson, who each had spells at Colchester as player and manager respectively.
He was out of contract, following a highly productive two-year spell, during which Colchester secured a League One promotion and then, in the season just ended, almost qualified for the Championship play-off places.
On the news that the former Stoke and Brighton hit-man will sign a three-year contract, Cureton said: "You can understand why Chris (Iwelumo) has taken this decision. It's a great opportunity for him."
We've been very close friends, both on and off the pitch, and it's been great playing alongside him.
"I don't think the Colchester fans can grumble, because you can't argue with his record, scoring 19 goals one season and 18 the next.
"Chris has given good service to Colchester, though perhaps the club could have done a little more to try and keep him. Once his contract had been allowed to run down to less than six months, he was always likely to go. That ploy can often backfire.
"But it's hard for a club like Colchester to compete. Charlton are coming down from the Premiership, and so will be given a lot of parachute money as well (£20m over the next two years).
"It would have been very difficult for Chris to turn down such an offer.
"They will probably sell a couple of their current strikers, so Chris should be a big player for them next season," added Cureton.
The remaining half of the Championship`s most lethal partnership of last season also added that the club need now to invest in new forward players; the club have not get given up on trying to prize Hogan Ephraim away from West Ham.
Cureton explained: "We were perhaps one striker short last season, so I reckon we need to sign a couple of strikers over the summer.
"Richard (Garcia) is also out of contract, and if he goes, then perhaps we'll need three, because Richard was always another option up front. That would leave only me and Jamie (Guy)."
Date:Monday May 21 2007
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