STU­DENT HUMES IS NEW U’S MASTER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS - By Chris Dunlavy

NEW Colch­ester boss Tony Humes ad­mits his in­stant rise from academy chief to man­ager came as a sur­prise.

The for­mer Ipswich and Wrex­ham de­fender took charge on Mon­day after Joe Dunne’s two-year reign came to end with the U’s sec­ond bot­tom of League One.

Humes fol­lows the likes of Brian McDer­mott at Read­ing and Brent­ford boss Mark War­bur­ton, who both won pro­mo­tion after swap­ping the academy for the dugout.

And with a young team of largely home­grown play­ers tak­ing just one point from their first five games, U’s chiefs are hop­ing the man who nur- tured them can have a sim­i­larly pos­i­tive im­pact.

“It was a bit of a sur­prise when the chair­man came and asked me,” said Humes, who learned his trade along­side the likes of Paul Mariner and Arnold Muhren at Ipswich.

“But you can’t turn some­thing like this down. I’ve been in foot­ball all my life, from the academy at 16 to coach­ing. This was the next step.

“Yes, my head is on the block now, but you’d kick your­self if you didn’t seize the op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s funny be­cause five years ago, I wouldn’t have even con­tem­plated this.

“The de­fin­i­tive time was when the Elite Player Per­for­mance Plan came out. I spent time look­ing at the philoso­phies of dif­fer­ent foot­ball clubs, play­ing a big part in defin­ing the fu­ture of this one.

“I was there when we said ‘Right, our phi­los­o­phy is to pro­mote from within’.

“That’s when it started to sink in that there were things that I could do beyond youth de­vel­op­ment.

“We’ve got a squad of play­ers who’ve come through the sys­tem with us, a big U21 squad be­low that.

“We’ve al­ready got that re­la­tion­ship with them and I think that’s what the chair­man has recog­nised.”

A rel­a­tive rookie, Humes ad­mits he will need guid­ance from time to time. And in his for­mer Wrex­ham boss Brian Flynn – who once called Humes his finest-ever sign­ing – he has the per­fect men­tor.

“I spent seven years un­der Bryan and we still speak,” he added.“He’s said he’ll al­ways be there for me with any ad­vice.

“He was a great man-man­ager and I hope I can be too.”

PIC­TURE: Pin­na­cle

GRAD­U­A­TION: Tony Humes has been given the chance to step up at Colch­ester fol­low­ing the exit of Joe Dunne, in­set

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