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Dunne inspired by Parky's U's legacy
Joe Dunne has revealed Phil Parkinson’s successful spell as Colchester United manager was an “inspiration” to him.
Parkinson is arguably the U’s greatest-ever manager, having guided the club to a historic promotion to the second tier in 2006 during his three-year reign at Layer Road.
He gave Dunne his first coaching role at the U’s, after appointing him as the club’s under-17 manager and scout following the Irishman’s retirement from playing.
And as Dunne prepares his Colchester side to face Parkinson’s Bradford City today, he said he has nothing but respect for his former colleague.
Dunne said: “Phil’s been an inspiration to me, because I am now where he was when he was first here at a similar age.
“He did a great job for us and we should never forget that.
“Phil brought professionalism to the club when he came in, that’s what really struck me.
“The only thing I was disappointed about when I retired was the fact that I didn’t get a chance to play under him.
“I think that would have benefited my career.
“He took the club by the scruff of the neck but it didn’t happen straight away, mind.
“We all need to recognise that, in terms of what we’re trying to do now.
“We’re trying to bring a new way to our club and Phil did that brilliantly.
“When we had our FA Youth Cup run, Phil was on every coach going to every game because he had that drive to do great.
“Me getting in a car and driving to every game under the sun is an offset of what Phil did.
“You have to do it and in the end he brought success but it took about three years.
“We should all be grateful for where we ended up, because the promotion changed the club forever.
“He’s one of the most successful managers in the club’s history and he should be respected.”
Dunne admits he was priced out of a move for former U’s winger Mark Yeates, who is set to line up against his old club.
Yeates, who spent two seasons with the U’s, linked up with Parkinson again at Valley Parade after being released by Championship side Watford at the end of last season.
“I couldn’t afford Mark Yeates,” added Dunne.
“With the run Bradford last year, they were able to offer something.
“At this level, he’s an absolute dangerman and a gem - he’s a quality player.”
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