Accrington Stanley v Colchester United preview: John McGreal’s big selection decisions

PUBLISHED: 15:37 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:53 04 August 2017

Ryan Jackson, who should make his U's competitive debut tomorrow. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

Ryan Jackson, who should make his U's competitive debut tomorrow. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

2017 Colchester United Football Club

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, has had big decisions to make, especially in terms of his three-man central defence, central midfield and attack, ahead of today’s 560-mile round trip to Accrington.

McGreal must choose between operating with summer signing Mikael Mandron or Drey Wright up front, alongside Denny Johnstone, while Tom Eastman’s centre-half partners will be two from Cameron James, Alex Wynter, Cole Kpekawa and Frankie Kent.

Likewise, Craig Slater, Sean Murray, Tom Lapslie, Tommy O’Sullivan and Sammie Szmodics are all vying for places in a three-strong midfield.

Sam Walker will start in goal, while summer signing Ryan Jackson and ex-Aston Villa trainee Lewis Kinsella are almost certain to fill the wing-back roles.

Hosts Accrington have been busy in the transfer market this summer, with manager John Coleman making some shrewd acquisitions.

At the start of the summer, striker Jonny Edwards was re-signed on a season-long loan from Hull City, for a second term, and wingers Mekhi McLeod (ex-Rangers 20-year-old) and Portuguese flyer Erico Sousa (at Billericay Town for a spell last season) also arrived.

Danish keeper, Simon Bloch Jorgensen, was signed up yesterday, to give competition for No. 1 Aaron Chapman, while striker Kayden Jackson was signed on a two-year deal from Barnsley a fortnight ago.

Chapman did not play for the Tykes last season, but did score twice in 24 outings on loan at Grimsby.

Another new recruit at Stanley is centre-half Ben Richards-Everton, formerly of Dunfermline.

Even more importantly, club stalwarts Sean McConville, a midfielder who led the League Two assists charts last season, winger Jordan Clark and skipper Seamus Conneely all signed new contracts.

Stanley signed off their pre-season with a 5-0 win at non-league Southport, with danger-man Billy Kee netting a first-half hat-trick. Kee was Stanley’s leading scorer last season (13 goals).

Coleman’s men were 4-0 up inside 22 minutes, with Kee then completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark.

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