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U's considering next move after Category Two disappointment
Colchester United are considering a re-audit after failing to secure Category Two status for their football academy.
The U’s youth development system fell narrowly short in their first attempt to become an elite academy.
It would have seen their youngsters compete against higher-rated sides and gain more funding for nurturing young players.
They fell just three per cent short of the 65 per cent target needed to gain Category Two status.
As a result, Colchester’s under-21 side will not have an organised league to play in this season.
They are now set to compete against Category Three and Category Four clubs for the foreseeable future as part of the Elite Player Performance Programme, which was introduced last summer.
Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling admitted failing to secure Category Two status was a “major disappointment”, having played considerable emphasis on their academy system over recent times.
However, he insisted that the decision has made the U’s even more determined to produce talented young players who will eventually be capable of playing for the first team.
In a statement, Cowling said: “Our failure to achieve Cat 2 at our first attempt was a major disappointment but to their credit everyone involved in the academy has responded to this setback with added determination and this has been reflected in their recent results.
“I have to consider a number of issues before I decide when to go for Category Two again.
“But as our audit demonstrated, our academy is Cat 1 quality in most areas and we are not going to let that slip.”
For more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, see Monday's Gazette.
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