‘There’s no one big-name player,’ insists Colchester United boss John McGreal

John McGreal applauds the U's home fans after the final whistle following the 0-0 draw against alrea

John McGreal applauds the U's home fans after the final whistle following the 0-0 draw against already-promoted Plymouth. It was the penultimate home fixture of the season. . Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United have frozen the price of their season tickets for the 2017-18 season.

And the Essex club, who finished just one place and out point outside the League Two play-offs during the most recent campaign, have also revealed their first few pre-season friendlies of the summer.

The U’s boasted the joint second best home record in League Two during 2016-17, with 14 wins from 23 league outings (and just five defeats) at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. Boss John McGreal recognised the importance of this home record, and the strong bond between home fans and the U’s players.

“I think it’s been a really successful season, which is why we offered new contracts to so many players,” explained McGreal.

“We’ve had that excitement at the club. There’s no one big-name player that the fans all like. Instead, there’s four, five, six, seven players that they like, which proves that although individuals have had a great season, collectively as a group we’ve had a great season as well.

“We’re hoping to keep that bond and that strength of character within the group.”

To that end, the U’s have launched their season ticket packages for the new campaign, and have frozen prices across the board.

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McGreal added: “The fans backed us brilliantly throughout last season and their support in the home fixtures really played their part in getting the team over the line to some crucial victories, particularly in the second half of the season.”

Only Doncaster (48 points) recorded more home points during last season, with both the U’s and champions Portsmouth accumulating 46 points on home turf. The U’s 43 home goals was only bettered by Pompey’s 48.

And U’s fans responded well, with attendances in the last eight games averaging nearly 4,800. Indeed, the season’s average was higher than the club’s last two promotion campaigns.

Meanwhile, the U’s have announced three pre-season friendlies.

They will play away at Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday, July 8 (3pm), travel to Braintree Town on Saturday, July 22 (3pm) and entertain Ipswich Town on Tuesday, July 25 (7.30pm).