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Born and Bred: Colchester United

Started on 14 March 2017 by ScottT
Latest Reply on 31 August 2017 by De Magere

Here We Go...

The past week has been a blur. You dream of something for so long and it happens unexpectedly, it's honestly still so surreal. You're left thinking of what new dream you're going to have - mine is to make a legacy. Whether it's been the first training session or the first mini interview session - it's been something I've thoroughly enjoyed thus far. Now I just can't wait to lead out the team in the League 2 campaign and before then, the first friendly against Lowestoft Town.

I'm still in the Premier Inn, the club has been funding my time here whilst I search for accommodation and I can't complain at that - the club have been very generous so far and have very much supported me in any way possible. On that note - I have to say things have been good off the managerial side of my life too. Let's rewind and find out why...

"Hey, Crystal?" I said, walking over to the reception desk. Last night we spoke a little more and I learnt more about her, honestly she seems great. "Hey Paddy, how was your sleep?" she asked, her job was of course to serve these times of questions, "Yeah it was great, I was just wondering if you'd like to go out for a coffee or something later, you know... after you finish work?" I hadn't ever been so nervous around a woman before, but she was just stunning and she took my breath away, however cliche that is. "Yeah sure, 2pm?" It was set.

I made sure I looked my best, I hadn't gone on a date as such before so I was determined to make sure this went well. I wasn't sure if she understood my feelings towards her, I mean imagine meeting some dude who had come to book a hotel room for some time and he catches feelings for a Premier Inn receptionist. Yeah, a little strange. Regardless, I arrived at the place we arranged and sat and waited for a couple minutes before seeing the most amazing woman walk towards my direction, it was none other than Crystal herself.

Now, I don't want to see like this is soppy and all but a guy like myself shouldn't be getting to talk to a woman like her so this meant something to me. I'll cut out the boring parts where we just talked and we'll get straight into it shall we? "So I've been meaning to say this to you Crystal, I honestly think you're beautiful." She looked at me blushing and I continued, "oh fuck it, I love you Crystal." There was a long pause, or so it seemed and she leant over to me and kissed me. "I love you too, Paddy," she said.

I can't talk about what happened from that moment, it's a bit too 18+ and we may have children reading this. But, I'm proud to say that Crystal is now a part of my life and I'm a part of hers. An additional bonus is that she has her own place where she has let me stay. The things I would do for this woman are endless. Let's just hope it has a happy ending from now because so far, I like this.

Back on the football front I have my first proper press conference tomorrow and I very much look forward to it. It's a time to let the fans have their first proper impression of me so I hope what I say can make them feel that I am one of them. That I can lead the club to the next level and beyond and that the club will be run in a way to allow the fans to be Colchester United. With that said, I have a new person in my life to give me a confidence boost. Life is great, it really fucking is.
Will your next post say dear penthouse forum my name is Paddy and I am a football manager?
Strong Writing style and interesting start
Who doesn't love a good romantic?! For what it looks like Crystal's keeping you as a sort of male mistress ;) Loving this mate.
MJK- Erm no :D

WeAreFev- Cheers mate

Jack- Male mistress, found that far too funny mate :D cheers!

Press Conference

Today was the day. My first press conference as Colchester United manager and most importantly the first glimpse the fans had of me as manager - one could only hope this went well. I woke up early and arrived early as usual, I am not one to take risks and like to be able to prepare. Once I arrived at the ground, where the press conference would be taking place, I was led into a different room and told to wait for my cue.

10 o'clock and my cue came. I was instructed to walk into the room and take my seat, simple enough. As I walked into the room, the cameras began snapping away at me. I felt like an A-list celebrity, not a League 2 football manager, this was something I could not prepare for. There were rows of journalists and cameramen, luckily I had club executives beside me to almost calm my nerves. It began...

"First of all I just want to welcome everyone here today," Tony, who was one of the two club executives said. "Today is a day where we all learn more about the legacy Mr McLaughlin is going to create," he turned to me as he saw me laughing quietly and smiled back, he continued, "and how he will bring the success of this club back but also take it to new heights. We here have high hopes, in which we believe this man can uphold. Now let's begin the interview shall we?" I nod apprehensively.

One man stands up slowly, a rather tall man with glasses and short brown hair. "Good morning, I'm Kevin Gauthier from BBC Sport - obviously you have never managed in professional football let alone in this country so how are you going to adapt to the changes do you honestly think?

"It's going to be a challenge of course, nobody has said different and I haven't thought that myself for one minute. I believe I have the tools to get the job done of course, you have to have that balance of confidence within you. I've been working hard with the players and understand the difference in quality - so we'll see on 6th August."

You will be the youngest ever manager - does this add some sort of added pressure?

"In certain aspects you could think so but I tend to ignore this fact. Age is just a number as cliche as that phrase is and I am just as able as anyone else to take over at this club and lead them to success. I think it will be highlighted quite a bit by the media but as I said, I'm not really focusing on it."

The fans of this club have been very miffed with the decision to appoint you, have you any words on this?

"Of course they'll be miffed considering how I haven't managed at a professional level before but we all start somewhere and I can assure the fans that they'll be one of the main focuses of my time here. Personally I want the fans to be as involved in the club as I am as they are the ones who pay money to get here week in, week out and they deserve a lot of credit for that. All I can say is that hopefully come the end of August I have made some good early impressions."

Have you any transfer targets in mind currently, is anything close to getting done?

"Yes, we have been scouting very hard over the few weeks I've been here as we obviously lost a lot of players from our League One relegation season. The focus has very much been on consolidating the squad and ensuring the balance is right in each position. I think we'll have a few deals done in the coming days to announce."

Finally, what can the fans expect from you?

The fans can expect something fresh and new. We want to play some exciting football that fans want to watch - not some boring sit back and hoof the ball forward football like the club has been used to in recent years. With the squad I'm assembling I'm very confident that we can aim high and potentially aim for a return back to League One immediately, we have the capabilities to achieve this.

Thank you for your time Mr McLaughlin

I couldn't wait to get out of that seat. It was one of the most daunting experiences I've had in my life. The issue is that every word you say they seem to be listening so deeply, reaching into every word and you feel a cold sweat go through your body. I would have plenty more of press conferences to do, so I guess I'll have to get used to that.

After the press conference I resumed the day as normal, continuing my persuit of the transfer targets I was talking about during the conference. Some clubs are very awkward in business, they seem to take forever to come to an agreement on one tiny thing - one tiny part of the small print, it was frustrating. However the deals should be over the line soon, so there we go. With that said, the match against Lowestoft is in a few days time so preparation for that is very much underway. The legacy begins.
Good luck with the season, sounds like you might a have a few big names coming in
Nice press conference!!! I had no clue Kevin quit football to be a journalist for the BBC. That is big time man.
I can't talk about what happened from that moment, it's a bit too 18+ and we may have children reading this.

come on, this was a golden oppurtinity.

love it :)
WeAreFev- We'll see!

MJK- Very big downfall for him. ;)

Michael- We're not all as graphic as you. ;)

Colchester sign Fewster

Colchester have made their first signing of the window by bringing in English forward Bradley Fewster on loan until the end of the season from Premier League side Middlesbrough.

Fewster, 20, had a successful loan spell at York City last season scoring 8 goals in 24 appearances but ultimately this wasn't enough to keep the Minstermen in the Football League after they were relegated.

Colchester boss Paddy McLaughlin said in an interview, "I am very happy to be able to secure the loan deal to bring Brad into the club, he is a talented youngster with a bright future ahead of him. York was a huge challenge last year and he managed to play some very good football in a underachieving squad, so I can't wait to see what he has in store for us."

Fewster posted on Twitter, "Delighted to be joining @ColU_Official on loan for the season. Great season in store me thinks." It is believed that no wages will be paid for by Colchester, this is to "keep the amount of wage expenditure down for the season," says McLaughlin.

Looks really good man
MJK- Aye he looks very good, had him on previous saves and he's preformed well.

Colchester United v Lowestoft Town

My career was to begin, the whistle sounded and the ball was kicked off to get the game underway. Although it was a pre-season game intended for the players to gain match fitness, it was also a proving ground to who was going to be in the first team plans for the first game of the season. I echoed this in the players ears so they know that my hopes are high for them and I expect a result against a Lowestoft side recently relegated from the National North.

There were more people here than I expected, considering it was once again 'just a pre-season fixture' and it was a very warm day, in which you could expect many to go out with their families for the day, just over 1,500 people packed into The Weston Homes Community Stadium. Here was my first chance to impress, the players knew that I was keen to show off what work we'd put in.

Ten minutes had passed into the game and we had been very much on top, keeping the ball well and showing how superior we were to the Non League opposition. They were plucky however and knew how to put a foot in, they themselves were clearly up for the fight and we certainly knew that. Our first real chance came and gone, Chris Porter narrowly shot wide after some good footwork from Kurtis Guthrie. I gave him a thumbs up to let him know that I was still pleased - you very much have to be supportive in football, but find the perfect balance between that and being aggressive.

Dean Brill in our goal was clearly very bored, Lowestoft albeit up for it couldn't get past our defence and thus it meant for a very quiet afternoon for the new goalkeeper signed before my arrival. He had recently returned to England after a few years in Scotland with Inverness and Motherwell and at half time as we went in at 0-0 I told him, "You need to stay alert, all it takes is for one piece of skill to take it past our defence and you could be helpless." He was a very professional man, one of the leaders amongst the squad and he took my words on board clearly.

That's something I cannot fault this squad in. The commitment is there and everyone is very professional with their jobs. They know their place in the squad and how if they have a problem with it, then they need to show that they deserve to be in the squad by playing well in pre-season. Morale is one of the key things in a squad, the harmony has to be high else the results just won't come.

The second half had been quite boring, we had little shots and you could see the fans were becoming slightly impatient as they waited for the goal to come. Eventually it did however with 15 minutes to go. The man mentioned earlier, Chris Porter stuck the ball into the top left hand corner from the edge of a box, a beautiful finish and a good way to mark the new era under myself.

The full time whistle sounded, much to my delight as we avoided a humbling defeat and began my tenure at the club with a victory. I clapped out the fans, as mentioned in my press conference I want them to know that I am one of them and nothing more, just in a role of power. I could hear the conversations a few were having, "We played well, just need to get more shots off and we'll be sorted," one said. I couldn't agree more.

As I went into the dressing room most of the lads were nearly ready to head home, "Well done lads, we played very well today and now we'll go into training on Monday and prepare for our next games. One thing I do have to say is that you seemed afraid to hit the ball, sometimes we just need to have a dig or two at the goal and test the goalkeeper. Besides that, the defence was solid and Dean had little to do in this half too, I can't fault you well done."

The players went home happy and so did I. A great way to begin our season and now we will go into the game against Coventry next Saturday in good spirits it seems. We also are close to completing a second signing to add to the loan signing of Brad and it's going to be another loanee. Most of the players I've tried to negotiate with are asking for ludicrous prices, the modern player eh.
Congrats on the victory but where was Crystal??? I am shocked she wasn't in attendance.

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