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at 17:56 17 Sep 2018

The £4.99 per month interviews and highlights package available via the U's website now offers video recordings of the whole of a U's match (albeit not 'live' which costs a FURTHER £10 when available).

I missed both the Cheltenham and Tranmere away trips due to cricket commitments but caught up with both today. The victory over Cambridge is also already available. I can see this impacting on the number of away fans travelling to some more distant grounds.
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Southampton - Checkatrade Cup
at 11:53 4 Sep 2018

Park & Ride NOT open tonight.
No shuttle buses.
Number 65 or 2 bus merely every 30 minutes.
A huge distance to walk to any bus stop.
General fan apathy towards competition....
But I have a ticket.

Crowd tonight....My guess 399.

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Shame on the Gazette....
at 12:16 31 Aug 2018

In today's online Colchester Gazette. Headline "Free travel for West Ham Fans" links to an article inviting local people to travel to the London Stadium for free on match days.

I would be happy to pay £4 return to the Jobserve Stadium if the bus stops were closer. Is this all a plot to get us to become Hammers fans Mr Cowling?

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Colchester Cricket and Beer Festival - starts Thursday this week
at 22:37 22 Jul 2018

Thursday 26 July - Sunday 29th July.
Please support your local cricket club in Castle Park.
Over 30 Real Ales + Ciders.

Thursday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester XI v Gents of Essex starts 11.30)

Friday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester XI v MCC starts 11:30).
Evening Entertainment = DJ Sam Leppard from 20:00

Saturday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester 2nd XI v Chelmsford)
Evening entertainment - live music = "Rekovered" from 20:00
Brillant 'covers' band - they were awesome last year.


Sunday 11.00 until we "run out of beer" (Colchester versus Copdock).

Admission £2. Includes programme and glass.

The standard of cricket is high - example, at least two of the matches will feature Tauri Muzarabani who has 8 x ODI caps for Zimbabwe (including one in the current year). I will be scoring the matches on Thursday, Friday and Sunday (but away with the First XI on Saturday, but back for the band on Saturday night).

Please spread the word - last year it was an awesome event.

Thanks

Noah4x4

[Post edited 22 Jul 22:46]
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Colchester United Customer Charter.
at 07:39 7 Jul 2018

This can be found at https://www.cu-fc.com/club/customer-charter/ . This is an extract...

CONSULTATION AND INFORMATION
Colchester United FC Football Club will maintain regular contact with its supporters; ......................(blah blah blah)...

..............In line with EFL regulation 111, Colchester United FC will continue to consult supporters on a regular basis through Forums and through our Supporters Association Chairman, Jon Burns.

The following decisions have evidently involved ZERO consultation...

1. Spectators must now pay for an inclusive 'paper' programme within the ticket price (n.b. a ticket price increase means it isn't free!!!).

2. The removal of shuttle bus services.

Printing over 5,000 paper programmes when only about 500 actually want them is a shocking waste of the planet's limited resources. The stadium litter bins will be full of discarded paper or more likely the concourse littered with them. Hopefully, paper recycling bins will be provided? This cost management decision was bonkers as it is no longer mandatory for EFL clubs in Divisions One and Two to produce paper programmes. Surely it was either time to go wholly digital or for those that actually want paper programmes to pay their real cost of prouduction (what newstand magazine costs under £5?).

The suggestion that only 166 fans use the shuttle buses was ridiculous. But it is probably true that only 166 pay cash at Bruff Close. For example; I buy a £4 'Colchester Rover' ticket early in the morning and use it all day. Others legitimately use regular OAP bus passes. We (or the Council) have hence already paid our fares. So why didn't First Bus take account of this instead of charging the football club the apparent shortfall?

Had we been told that these were NOT valid then we would have instead paid £3.00 return to town and then not baulked at paying £2.50 for ther shuttle. Hence a not unreasonable £5.50 in total. But we had already paid EXTRA for the combined ticket. Now the closest we can get to the ground by regular bus is the Water Tower Mill Road. That is just too far to walk for many older, disabled and infirm supporters. So will the hours of the Park & Ride be extended for evening matches?

This decision will result in extra car journeys; nuisiance street parking; increased congestion in North Colchester. It is clear that the football clubs commitment to the environment is waning. Sadly, we can't all be like Robbie (Trump) Cowling and ride a bike. We need adequate public transport. If it is mandatory under EFL regulation 111; when will consultation commence about these and like matters?

[Post edited 7 Jul 7:43]
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Compulsory programmes at WHCS...No buses...
at 07:46 9 Jun 2018

An extra £23 has been added to ST's and £1 to tickets to give all a "free" programme. Why didn't the clowns that run the club not wait until the EFL actually voted instead of upsetting fans? Programmes are now only compulsory at WHCS!

The shuttle bus decision is creating mass discontent. The solution was patently obvious. Ensure First Bus was taking account of those that had already paid (bus passes, Colchester Rovers etc.) and charge those that didn't pay (those that use the buses only on the home leg). Then there would have been no deficit. Instead, fans are now saying they won't renew STs as they won't be attending any evening games (only #65 bus option) and the discount isn't suffice if you miss too many.

I despair; who is progressively ruining our match day experience? Is it Cowling (the decisions) or Waddington (surely he produces the numbers that Cowling uses to make decisions?).

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No shuttle buses in 2018/9
at 18:23 30 May 2018

See https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2018/may/robbie-issues-shuttle-bus-update/

To be fair, the club probably can't continue to subsidise the high cost, and for most of us a #65 to Mill Road or the Park & Ride do offer a reasonable alternative service at merely £3.00 return (e.g. well below the cost per person if no shuttle subsidy). But not for the disabled. It is far too long a walk from the Water Tower to WHCS for many elderly supporters.

We also need a safer pedestrian route from the park & ride or a bus stop at the Stadium. Also what happens for evening games when the Park & Ride isn't operating? It is the return journey that is the problem. How will 200 ex-shuttle people get on a single #65 that operates merely every 30 minutes?

I am not sure what the solution is, except that when the Northern Gateway is built this will become an even bigger problem as public transport to it and the Stadium doesn't exist. Dedicated fans will find solutions, but I suspect that a few hundred may be lost. Economically, that might even be the best solution for the club, but it may kill the atmosphere as a majority of the older South Standers depend on shuttle buses.

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U's release four
at 16:20 8 May 2018

Loft, O'Sullivan, Johnstone and Slater released.

Loft always injured. No surprise. Johnstone and Slater homesick for Scotland. No surprise. But O'Sullivan is a surprise.

Last time I saw him he hit a hat trick. But apparently he didn't inspire anybody whilst on loan. Maybe attitude problems?

With Carlisle, Morecambe and Forest Green also releasing about thirty players between them will be plenty of quality in the National League.
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End of a myth?
at 02:43 21 Apr 2018

In past seasons I have argued that the U's could stay up on as few as 47 points when most would argue that 51 is the historic minimum. Fortunately, we don't have that worry.

However, might Grimsby stay up on well under 50 points? I think their survival might hit a record low points tally. Serves to emphasise how poor the bottom two sides were. Shame, we got dragged down to their level!
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No one is bigger than the Football Club
at 20:09 27 Feb 2018

Quotes....the Mansfield Chairman as Steve Evans resigns along with his deputy, with Mansfield fifth in the table. Must be 'mutual consent' if it's a resignation.

Has he got out whilst his CV is still intact having "guaranteed" promotion pre-season and bought an entire team in August yet never in an automatic play-off place? Plenty of higher ranked clubs will welcome him.
[Post edited 27 Feb 20:10]
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Another great option on a match day?????
at 16:58 1 Feb 2018

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2018/february/another-great-option-on-a-matchday/

"Fans in other parts of the ground can be assured we are working on suitable options for facilities in other parts of the ground"

Few real ale fans will ever drink at WHCS when the only dishwater on offer is Green King IPA. It's why I rarely support Theme and Comedy Nights and drink elsewhere pre and post match. Who wants to eat and drink under the South or East stands that have concourses indistinguishable from the urinals (e.g. concrete block)? Compare with fan facilities at Port Vale, Exeter, Barnet, Grimsby etc. Will this be just an excuse to hike West Stand prices?
[Post edited 1 Feb 17:11]
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Junior MUST play on Saturday!
at 15:41 29 Jan 2018

Just returned from the U23s versus QPR (U's win 3-2).

I am seriously impressed with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. He scored two. His first, he dribbled through a number of defenders to slot home a perfect finish. His second, he deflected a powerful header from Prosser to put it out of reach of the goalkeeper. Powerful, fast, holds the ball well. With his back to goal; will receive the ball on his chest and has a brilliant turn to beat a defender. Takes up good positions; was always a handful. I would love to see him paired with Dickenson and KVY as wing backs. Reminded me of Iwelumo at his very best. Ryan Gondoh (also ex-Maldon) scored the third. Very young, but he looks decent too.
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U's (under 23) 3 - 4 Swansea
at 21:22 25 Jan 2018

The U's were just edged out by their Premier League visitors in an entertaining match.

Rooney - looks like an inspired signing! Awesome headed goal. Unfortunately scored at both ends. Impressive young player.

Dickenson - played almost 30 minutes. It looked like he had never been away. Delivered a number of superb crosses and is what we have been missing. Not lost any pace and outsprinted his opposite number on most occasions. Frankly, I would put him on the bench on Saturday assuming that his stamina is adequate to offer 30 minutes..

Gondoh - (careful as predictive text insists on condom) looks a fine skilful player too. Needs to beef up a little, but troubled the visiting defence. Would like to see him with his Maldon & Tiptree buddy Junior, but I guess he is in Saturday's First XI squad (and is over age 23).

Where the U's lost this match was because a couple of the very youngest team members carelessly gave the ball away in situations where there were easier options and we were ruthlessly punished by a class centre forward (Baker-Richardson). Those mistakes apart, we looked like the better side for much of the game.
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Big New Year Draw
at 17:40 3 Jan 2018

Only three winning tickets drawn at half time.....

......"Look on the website for the remaining winners".

Er...... where?
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Changing faces
at 11:29 29 Nov 2017

Just watched my recording of the U's v Spurs FA Cup game (oh, the joy of retirement).

What really struck me is just how much the U's starting XI has changed under John McGreal (having taken over from Kevin Keen) and how many of the previous squad have departed the club. I compare with last Saturday's XI (Notts County) = now.

Then Now

Kean Walker
Brindley Kent
Wynter Innis
Eastman Eastman
Vincent-Young Vincent-Young
Gilbey Lapslie
Garvan Comley
Massey Wright
Moncur Jackson
Ambrose Mandron
Porter Szmodics
(Sorry about the lack of spacing between columns).

Then, there was massive criticism of "too many Academy players" ( a couple) but on Saturday there were five. Only two of that Keen XI remain at the club, both still crowd favourites.

My point is McGreal can justifiably claim 'now' to be his personal XI given his previous involvement with the youth set up and subsequent signings. He therefore deserves any credit for the success that may be on the horizon.

The U's have since suffered relegation from Division One. When this Spurs game was played we were seven points adrift in the relegation zone. Note how many of the 2016 XI have since left the club! Perhaps this thread might foster thoughts about who we miss from the earlier XI? How are they doing now? Do we really miss them?

Might it be that our current squad is better equipped for Division One?

Could be an interesting discussion.......!


[Post edited 29 Nov 2017 11:30]
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BBC price of football
at 22:53 15 Nov 2017

Published tonight. Interesting, considering the regular WHCS moans....

In Division Two Colchester United offers the second cheapest single ticket @ £14.50 albeit you do need to purchase this in advance and on-line. This ticket is cheaper than many National League cheapest single tickets.

Our season tickets also suggest decent comparative value.

Best value, cup of tea at £1.

Overall, we offer the cheapest day out in the division.....and also the most expensive!

......one can bet we won't have a season ticket price freeze for 2018-9!!!!
[Post edited 15 Nov 2017 23:08]
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Away results encouragement?
at 12:41 29 Oct 2017

We have now passed a third of the season and the U's have risen to 13th and sit five points off the play-offs. It's progress considering our injury problems and awful start.

But have any other boarders noticed that of the 12 teams located above us we have already played 6 (50%) away in just 34% of the season? So have we already battled through a disproportionate number of our most challenging (e.g away) fixtures?. Our poor results against Accrington and Luton also reflect the U's coming up against two teams currently in an automatic promotion place in our first two away trips.

Then by the half way stage, we will have additionally played Notts County away, Swindon away and next up after that is Wycombe away. In essence, this might suggest that we will face almost ALL our greatest (away) challenges in this first half.

Many of these teams are losing on the road, and it's home results that have benefitted them. Yes, it is true that these same teams must come to WHCS, but I am sure they would prefer to face us at home in the crucial second half of the season. . If we can be in touching distance of the play-offs in January (with Guthrie and Dickenson fit?) then I wonder, might the apparently easier run in see us up into the automatic promotion slots? Or am I sounding as optimistic as Durham Exile?
[Post edited 29 Oct 2017 12:45]
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Stags boss Evans appeals for Forest support
at 11:51 16 Sep 2017

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39752799

I thought I had heard it all from the Fat Stag until I read this.

Mind you, I suppose we do have some in the West Stand that might attend Ipswich one week and then the U's the next. Perhaps less so since our fixtures started to clash.

I must confess that until I became a seasoned away traveller with the U's I sometimes did so, but I always sat in the away end at Portman Road cheering on the visitors. But its a bit rum asking people in greater numbers to show allegiance to local rivals. Now I regularly go to U's home and away, but do slip in visits to Orient and to others when we don't have any game.

Anybody else do any ground roving?...

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Blue & white forever
at 09:44 3 Sep 2017

OK, our travel woes continue, yet at home we are OK. There must be some psychological influences at play. Yesterday, 600 fans did their best to make the team 'feel at home' and still the players didn't respond with enough pride and passion to win.

Might a good place to start is play home and away in blue & white if no colour clash?

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Why do we discard so many strikers?
at 07:39 22 Aug 2017

Porter, Bonne, Sordell, Ibrehe all on Saturday's score sheet AGAIN

Our current crop don't even look like scoring.

Is it because our management team are all defenders? But that doesn't explain why we can't defend. I have never been this disillusioned at the start of a season.
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