The following article was from April 2018
I was fortunate enough to play with a lot of good players at Cambridge United in my time there and I still keep in touch with a lot of them now. I manage Warrington Town in the Evostik premier with Mark Beesley who’s my assistant.
For my top Cambridge United team I will go with a 4-4-2 system as that’s what I liked to play in myself and a system I like now as a manager.
In Goal I’d have Shirley from Eastenders AKA Danny Potter not only because he was like a woman but with his died hair made him look her double - Potsy did really well for the club - he made important saves in big games but his distribution was outstanding, he had a wand of a left foot that we used to counter attack teams really well.
Right back would be Dan Gleeson - Gleese won’t mind me saying but with his attributes he should have played more league football than he did. Decent on the ball, athletic, a good 1v1 defender and good in the air - what every manager is looking for in a full back - maybe it was his banter that stopped him !
Left back would be Anthony Tonkin - the warrior as he used to like to be called - Tonks was a machine , fit, strong and quick, he would thrive on playing against quick wingers. Went on to have a good career in the league.
Centre halves would be Wayne Hatswell and Phil Bolland -
Complimented each other really well. Hats was the loud one who would organise and shout at players while Bolly was the quieter composed one - both were proper centre halves who would defend 1st though and would nail anyone anywhere but they could both play - Hats scored some great goals with his left foot and Bollys reading of the game and timing of tackles made them a great partnership.
Right wing would be Andy Parkinson - pace and goals made Parky stand out and in his 1st pre season at the club he showed his quality when he roasted a back 4 of internationals against Everton scoring 2 worldies! If it wasn’t for rupturing his cruciate after the 1st game of the season I firmly believe we would have won the league!
Left wing is a tough one as we had 2 in Robbie Willmott and Courtney Pitt but I’m going to go with Robbie for his goals that season at a young age. Robbie had electric pace and he could travel with the ball from one end of the pitch to the other in seconds. He had an eye for goal and scored some important ones in big games - should have done better with his career I feel.
Centre Mids - Jai Reason. Came in from Ipswich and put years off me as I had to do his running too! No....a great lad and a talented player who had a great range of passing who I formed a real understanding with with - another who I thought would have went on to get back in the league. Still playing and scoring goals in the National league.
His partner would be Rob Wollaston, there wouldn’t be many tackles put in with these 2 in centre mid but they were both quality - this lad was a real talent and you would argue a waste, great 1st touch, vision, close control and another who could score goals out of nothing. I would just sit in an let Wooly wander about picking the ball up and making things happen, which he would always do.
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We had some really good forwards during my time - Holroyd, McEvilly, Beesley and Rendell.
Chris Holroyd was raw and exciting and had a really good career and is banging goals in now for Wrexham while Maca was Maca - had everything you would want ability wise but obviously something missing as his talent never sustained the level it should have done.
My 9&10 would be Rendell and Beesley though.
Scotty was a proper goal scorer and was always in the right place at the right time,his movement in the area was the reason he would score goals and if the ball went in the box he would be on the end of it and is still doing that now.
Bees was a very clever player who would pull people about with movement and touch. He had a great turn that could open up spaces for others which is why he could play with any type of striker and why all the other forwards would like playing along side him. A cleaver finisher too who would pass the ball into the net. Should have played against Exeter at Wembley.
Like most players who will put their CUFC 11 on here, I could easily put others in and some will no doubt be on to me calling me for leaving them out. The truth is we had a lot of good players at the club when I was there and I feel we should have gained promotion which is the biggest disappointment in my career. The Stevenage game is a real stand out and looking back at the highlights makes me realise how good a side we had. I believe we were the best team in the league but unfortunately we never showed up against Torquay in the final.
It’s great to see the club back in the league with things looking positive for the future.
Thank you to Paul for providing his Cambridge United side - Paul played 121 matches for the club and was also caretaker manager during his time at the club.
In total Paul played over 400 first team matches during his career.