Date:Saturday June 16 2007
The new fixture list revealed that Colchester United will being the 2007-8 Coca-Cola Championship season away from home as the club prepares for one last campaign based at their current Layer Road stadium.
While the club are pencilled in to play Sheffield United at Bramell Lane in August, they could yet be facing West Ham - if, that is, an appeal by Bryan Robson`s recently relegated Blades side is successful when it is heard next week.
The Yorkshire outfit are awaiting the verdict on an objection they made in the wake of a Football Association ruling over West Ham striker Carlos Tevez, whose apparently illegal registration documents should, they say, have resulted in a docking of points for the London club.
If West Ham had been deduced points (they were fined £5.5 million), the Hammers would have suffered relegation instead of Sheffield.
But, while the world awaits the results of Monday`s hearing, a familiar face in the form of London lad Hogan Ephraim can speculate on the possibility of facing Colchester, the club where he spent eight months as a loanee last term.
"What a start to the new season West Ham v Colchester would be," said the teenage starlet, whose performances last season has lead to widespread conjecture that he may return to Essex sometime soon.
Speaking in the Essex local paper Costal Gazette, he said: "To think our first fixture would be against the U`s. It doesn`t come more high profile or local than that does it?"
"I`m sure the Colchester fans would rather come to Upton Park than travel all the way up to Sheffield", added Hogan. "I really hope the worst doesn`t happen. No-one is sure what next week`s commission is going to do."
Should the Football League overturn their original judgement it is widely anticipated that West Ham and Sheffield United will directly switch league places and fixtures, meaning that Colchester would face West Ham come August.
Of this, Hogan continued: "Ideally I don`t want that to happen. If Colchester were to play West Ham I would love to be in the team because I enjoyed my time at Layer Road, especially the last six weeks where we were going for promotion."
"I really hope the worst (relegation) scenario doesn`t happen but the manager (Alan Curbishley) has told me he intents to have a good look at me during pre-season."
Date:Saturday June 16 2007
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