BACK TO THE OL’ ROU­TINE!

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By Matt Bad­cock

JOSH COULSON wants to recre­ate his Cam­bridge United dream at Ley­ton Ori­ent af­ter his loan move be­came per­ma­nent this week.

The 28-year-old de­fender has been with the O’s all sea­son be­fore sign­ing a two-and-a-half year deal with Justin Ed­in­burgh’s side. Coulson’s Cam­bridge ca­reer was boy’s own stuff as he spent ten years at the club he and his fam­ily sup­port and helped them to a Non-League dou­ble in 2014. First they won the FA Tro­phy in March be­fore re­turn­ing to Wem­b­ley in May to seal pro­mo­tion to the Foot­ball League through the play-offs. The boy­hood U scored their first goal back in League Two in a 1-0 win against Ply­mouth as they went onto play Manch­ester United in the FA Cup – even se­cur­ing a re­play at Old Traf­ford. “I don’t know what else I could have done,” Coulson told The NLP. “I couldn’t have topped that year get­ting pro­moted and help­ing the club get back into the Foot­ball League.

“Then there was Man United in the FA Cup and our first game back in the League we won 1-0 and I scored. I couldn’t have dreamt of much more.

Feel-good fac­tor

“The Man United games were mas­sive. I should have scored against them in the first game but, in hind­sight, it was the best miss of my ca­reer be­cause we got to play at Old Traf­ford! That was in­cred­i­ble. To play at Old Traf­ford with some close mates was a bril­liant ex­pe­ri­ence I won’t for­get.

“It’s my home­town club so just to play for them was a high. But to win in the play-offs and the FA Tro­phy at Wem­b­ley in the same year, you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to strug­gle to beat that.

“But I want that again. My life’s changed now. I’ve got a lit­tle boy, Harry, who I would love to see me do that.

“It would be nice to pass that down. My dad comes to all the games at Ori­ent now. It’s a real nice set-up there, a nice fam­ily club.”

Coulson says leav­ing United was hard but he also knows Ori­ent is the right move for his ca­reer.

“It’s just a mas­sive club, really well run,” Coulson said. “What hap­pened last sea­son has hap­pened and that’s gone.

“We get 5,000 sup­port­ers watch­ing our home games, which is bril­liant. From day one the feel-good fac­tor has been back, the new own­ers are good – it’s just get­ting the club back on its feet. “Ob­vi­ously we went on a bad run re­cently, but hope­fully in the next cou­ple of years we can get back to where the club wants to be.” And he thinks the ar­rival of Ed­in­burgh as boss at the back end of 2017 is al­ready pay­ing off. “We needed that kick up the back­side and get back to ba­sics,” Coulson said. “The boys have really re­sponded to what he wants to do. “Ev­ery­one knows what he’s done in his ca­reer and has bought into what he wants. Ev­ery­one gets on with him. He’s a really bub­bly char­ac­ter. Train­ing is lively and in­tense. But around the place when we’re not train­ing he has a laugh with the boys and we’ve all re­sponded to that. It’s good.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

END OF AN ERA: Josh Coulson has left Cam­bridge af­ter a decade to team up per­ma­nently with Justin Ed­in­burgh, in­set

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