Ahead of the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two campaign, mkdons.com takes a look at the teams MK Dons will face next season.
Nickname: The U's
Stadium: The JobServe Community Stadium (Capacity 10,105)
Home colours: White and blue striped shirts, white shorts, white and blue hooped socks
Entering his third full season as Colchester manager John McGreal is a man looking to make his mark on The JobServe Community Stadium. The 46-year-old was appointed as caretaker manager of The U's back in November 2015 before replacing Kevin Keen as manager in April 2016. The former Tranmere and Ipswich defender has progressed through the coaching ranks with Colchester having previously worked in the youth set-up overseeing Colchester's Under-21s before taking up the position
Key and notable players
The highly rated Sammie Szmodics (pictured below) will no doubt be a name that comes to mind whenever Colchester United are mentioned. The 22-year-old has progressed through the Club's academy system before making his debut for The U's in 2013. The midfielder netted 13 goals last season – his highest tally to date.
French striker Mikael Mandron provides a threat upfront for McGreal's side, having joined from Wigan in 2017 the 23-year-old scored 10 goals during his first season in Essex. Elsewhere, Luke Prosser (pictured below) dons the armband for Colchester, aged 30, the defender provides an experienced head at the back for McGreal. Tom Eastman is also a man to watch having scored three goals from defence last campaign.
Colchester suffered an indifferent start to the 2017-18 campaign having won just one of their opening five fixtures. Having found their groove, The U's would lose just once in the space of 10 games picking up 21 points from between the months of September and November. A stuttering start to 2018 looked to have damaged their promotion push as it took until February 3rd for McGreat's men to register their first win of the calendar year as they overcame Newport County 2-0 at The JobServe Community Stadium.
March saw a change in fortunes as the Club lose just once in five games before picking up just one point from their final five fixtures – finishing the campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Exeter.
At the Club's annual End of Season Awards, 26-year-old Tom Eastman was named Player of the Year, academy graduate Kane Vincent-Young (pictured below) scooped two awards as he picked up the Goal of the Season Award as well as the accolade of Young Player of the Year. Finally, Sam Walker was crowned Player's Player of the Year.
Colchester moved quickly during the transfer window as they recruited Harry Pell from Cheltenham Town on an undisclosed fee in early may before keeper Bailey Vose joined from Brighton and Hove Albion. The U's also recruited a trio of free agents with Noah Chesmain, Ethan Ross and Frank Nouble (pictured below playing for Newport County) all joining the Club.
A number of faces departed including Doug Loft, Tommy O'Sullivan, Craig Slater, Charley Edge and Denny Johnstone.
HISTORY WITH THE DONS
Head to head
Dons wins: 12
Last Dons win: 1-0, 17 Feb 2015 (Weston Homes Community Stadium)
Biggest win: 6-0, 29 Nov 2014 (Stadium MK)
Last draw: 0-0, 1 Jan 2014 (Stadium MK)
Colchester United wins: 0
Last Colchester United win: 3-1, 26 Nov 2013 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Colchester United: 3-1, 26 Nov 2013 (Stadium MK)
Ademola Bankole, Jermaine Easter, Alex Gilbey (pictured below), Lewis Gobern, Jabo Ibehre, Richard Johnson, Charlie MacDonald, Izale McLeod, Dean Morgan, Clinton Morrison, Clive Platt, Mason Spence, Rowan Vine.
The fixtures for the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two campaign will be announced at 9am on Thursday 21st June.