Planning consent has been given and the first sod has been dug. The new stadium is really going to happen. Cuckoo Farm will be the new Layer Road. I guess our opponents will be happier about this than we are. It’s been suggested that the ancient, cramped, decrepit and intimate nature of Layer Road has been our best asset for years. Just ask Leeds United (13 Feb 1971).
Mind you the celebration about the new location isn’t without controversy. It’s a community stadium, which means the U’s aren’t the only users. It’s sized for 10,000 – is that enough? Should the town’s MP, who is one of their greatest supporters, have been invited to the first dig? Is the planned highway access sufficient to accommodate the amount of traffic expected?
And on the field, is this going to be the season we should have had last year? You know, the one where little old Colchester United struggles to maintain a presence up here in the Championship with the ‘big boys’. Losing the first four games suggested we were playing along with that scenario, but there were those who realised that each of these games were lost by just one goal. Surely our luck had to change. And it did. Big time! At various stages we occupied a play-off place and finished a highly creditable 10th. Were we really dreaming of being in the play-offs, beating the other contenders and bringing Premiership football to Colchester?
Layer Road, that’s what this blog is all about. Our last season at home at Layer Road, Colchester, CO2 7JJ. This is what it’s like for one of the fans who will be enduring the last 23 x 90 minutes of league football (plus all those minutes of ‘time allowed’) at Layer Road. No more balls disappearing over the stands into neighbouring gardens. How on earth will the local infrastructure cope without us on match days?
I’ll post some photos and reflections of last season along the way and maybe mention some blasts from the past, when it suits me or the occasion. Remember this is really about the ground and not just the players. Layer Road has a personality, a presence, an ability to intimidate visiting teams and fans alike. It’s not particularly comfortable for the home fans either and I guess the media would like to benefit from some up to date facilities too.
I welcome comments and reflections from other home fans on their experiences in this last memorable season at Layer Road.