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U's chairman Cowling's generation game
The U’s chairman has ploughed millions into nurturing young talented players through the club’s academy.
And he is also targeting a new generation of supporters to back the club from the Weston Homes Community Stadium stands.
Cowling said the average age of the U’s home support has dropped since their move from Layer Road, in 2008.
There has been an increase in the number of youngsters watching games in the South Stand, along with families attending U’s matches, over recent times.
And while more established Colchester fans are cherished as being a valuable part of their fan base, attracting new fans is a key component in the future that Cowling envisages.
Cowling said: “One of the things I notice about going to other clubs to watch games is that support is quite old.
“If you go to places like Oldham or Tranmere, it’s quite an old-based support.
“I remember that it was the same at Layer Road and there’s no doubt that the faces are getting younger at the Weston Homes.
“We have transitioned the support and if there were 3,500 turning up at Layer Road, then the 3,500 or so that are turning up at the Weston Homes are a different type of support.
“We are doing that and if we continue to do that, then we should grow the support base.”
Meanwhile, Cowling has described Colchester supporters as ‘first-class’ for their loyal support of Joe Dunne’s side.
The U’s chairman spoke last week in the Daily Gazette about how he feels the club deserves more support and investment from the town.
Cowling wants the U’s to be given more chance to flourish in Colchester and admitted he may one day walk away if they do not get the help and enthusiasm he feels they deserve.
But despite his frustrations, he insists he is full of admiration for those fans who regularly attend games at the Community Stadium.
U’s fans came out in support of Cowling and chanted his name during their 1-1 draw with Carlisle United, last Friday.
Cowling added: “I never take our fans for granted.
“I think the people in this town who come out and support Colchester United are first class.
“There’s not enough people in the town who come out and support Colchester, maybe even as their second team.
“But the ones who do, I admire greatly.”
See the Daily Gazette for all of the latest Colchester United news.
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