How the U's are shaping up for next season
The 2013-14 campaign was a tough one for Colchester, who just about did enough to finish in 16th place in League One.
Manager Joe Dunne's first full campaign began brightly as the U’s won two out of their opening three games, but they then went 11 league games without a win prior to beating Peterborough in late October.
However, despite finding goals hard to come by, Colchester did enough to survive the drop by six points after winning their final two games of the season – 4-1 at home to Brentford and 1-0 at Walsall.
THE MANAGER – JOE DUNNE
Irishman Dunne has been Colchester manager for two years following the departure of John Ward in late 2012.
Dunne previously had a couple of spells at the U's as a player after beginning his career at Gillingham. He made over 100 appearances for the Gills in six years before departing for Colchester in 1996. He had a short stint at Dover Athletic in between his two Colchester spells.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Another relatively new stadium in the division, Colchester's Weston Homes Community Stadium has space for over 10,000 spectators. The U's have been in their current home since 2008 and our fans will once again be in the North Stand when we visit Essex next season.
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
Former West Ham United man Dominic Vose has agreed a new two-year deal with the club after joining midway through last season. Brian Wilson has said he will be leaving the club following the expiry of his contract, whilst veteran forward Clinton Morrison will not be retained. Left back Ryan Dickson has yet to respond to the offer of a new contract at the club.
The two sides have met on four occasions, with Reds being unbeaten against the U's. The sides first met at Colchester in the 2012-13 season and ended 1-1. Kyle McFadzean's controversial goal put Crawley 1-0 up only for Anthony Wordsworth’s penalty late on to earn a point for both sides. At the Checkatrade.com Stadium, Reds romped to a 3-0 win as goals from Mark Connolly, Billy Clarke and Nicky Adams sealed a comfortable win.
In 2013-14, Reds drew at Colchester with Emile Sinclair scoring his first Crawley goal – cancelling out Freddie Sears' opener. At the Checkatrade.com Stadium, Mike Jones' neat finish proved the difference at Reds ran out 1-0 winners in March.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Sanchez Watt enjoyed a loan spell with Crawley in the final half of the 2011-12 campaign and played his part in the Reds earning promotion to League One during that season. He scored two excellent goals in Crawley's 4-2 home victory over Cheltenham Town.
Others that have represented both clubs include the current U's captain Magnus Okuonghae, who performed excellently at Crawley back in the 2007-08 season, appearing 21 times for the club. Jamie Cade has played for both clubs, as has striker Steve Restarick who came through the youth ranks at Colchester before spending the 2001-02 campaign here at Crawley. Billy Clarke had a loan spell at Colchester during his time at Ipswich Town.
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Colchester are 22/1 with Sky Bet to win promotion from League One this season.