How did they do?
Colchester were in the running for the final play-off place until the last day of the season, but missed out to Newport County and finished a point outside in eighth place. They won 20 games including a 3-1 victory over Crawley in October. Ten-man Reds gained revenge on New Year’s Day though with a 2-0 win secured by two goals from Luke Gambin.
Who’s in charge?
John McGreal has just celebrated three years in charge of the U’s, having been appointed in May 2016. The former Tranmere, Ipswich and Burnley player has managed Colchester in more than 150 games.
MK Dons signed wide man Brennan Dickenson last month after his contract expired. Mikael Mandron and Ryan Gondoh have been released while a new contract has been offered to ex-Reds loanee Tom Eastman. Sammie Szmodics, who finished the season as leading scorer with 15 goals, will see his contract expire later this month. Colchester have the option to extend and, if they do, Szmodics will command a fee if he moves on. Bristol City have been linked with a move for the striker.
No decisions have been made on the futures of goalkeeper Dillon Barnes, midfielder Diaz Wright, striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, who is currently on loan at League of Ireland club Derry City, and former Wycombe midfielder Sam Saunders, who joined the club on loan for the second half of last season.
Who’s coming and who might me?
Colchester have signed 18-year-old Kwame Poku after he impressed for Bostik League Worthing and former Leicester midfielder Sammie McLeod, who will both initially play in their under-23 team. Director of Football Tony Hume says they have other recruitment targets but no other signings have been made yet. They have been linked with Brighton striker James Tilley as a potential loan signing.
How is their pre-season shaping up?
Colchester kick off at non-league Bowers & Pitsea on July 5. They entertain Ipswich Town on July 19 and Charlton Athletic four days later before finishing their pre-season at Dover on July 27.
The aforementioned Eastman played for Reds under Steve Evans in 2011-12 on loan from the U's.