Colchester United yesterday announced that Steve Ball had beaten off competition to become the new Colchester United Head Coach.
Ball, 50, will be no stranger to U's fans, having played for the Essex club between 1992 and 1996 scoring seven goals, and most recently was Assistant Manager to former boss John McGreal who was sacked after leading the club to a League 2 play-off semi-final defeat.
While as a coach, Ball worked with most age categories within the Essex club ranks, the only management experience he has comes from spells with local sides Stanway, Clacton, Leiston, and Maldon & Tiptree.
Speaking to BBC Radio Essex Ball said:
“This is an extremely proud moment for me,”
“The town means a lot for me - I was born here, played for the club and coached here for a long time now."
“Everybody has ambition and working with John (McGreal) was a great experience and a big learning curve but I’ve also wanted to progress."
“I had a coffee with John on Sunday and we talked about the role. He wished me the best and there are no issues there." “I will put my own stamp on things, there’ll be things I’ll do differently. You have your own ideas as a number two and I want to put some of those into action.”
Colchester United owner Robbie Cowling declared Ball a natural choice;
“Steve was a natural choice for Colchester United to make because as well as being an excellent coach, he knows the club inside out having started as an Academy coach."
“He also understands the demands of the first team, having been John McGreal’s assistant for the last four seasons."
“Steve is taking the reins as the first-team coach at a pivotal time for the club. "
"The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has forced Colchester United into releasing a number of senior players that I’m sure Steve would have liked us to have kept."
“Steve is likely to have to deal with issues that no First Team Coach or Manager before him has had to endure."
“However, our club is not alone and I trust that everyone is appreciative of our situation and will give Steve their full support.”
Cowling also took time to defend his decision to sack McGreal:
“I spoke with John McGreal to explain that the club is going to be implementing a new plan that will see the first team being even more tightly aligned to the academy and that I along with my three other directors, (Tony Humes, Tony Ashby and Jon De Souza), felt a change of first-team head coach was required if our new direction was to be successfully implemented."
“This was a very tough decision for a number of reasons, but not least because John has been first-team head coach for the last four years."
“This last season has been one of the club’s best seasons for a number of years and John should be very proud of his time in charge of the first team.”
A new era awaits Colchester United fans.
Check back for our fan opinion piece out later today (29/07)