Thanks to a pair of young Chelsea loanees last year - goalkeeper Sam Walker and midfielder Billy Clifford - Colchester United survived. By the skin of their teeth, but they survived. A 2-0 victory on the final day ensured safety and continued participation in League One. Both Walker and Clifford garnered plaudits and both of them are now ready for the next step up.
Colchester meanwhile are dipping back into the Chelsea well. Earlier today they played their fourth (already!) pre-season friendly but this one had an interesting side-note to it as far as we're concerned. With 62 minutes on the clock, manager Joe Dunne quite literally changed his whole team, making ten substitutions at the same time. One of the new faces on the pitch was Chelsea under-21 center back Daniel Pappoe.
The 19-year-old Ghanaian prospect - who has lived in London since an early age and has been in the Chelsea system since age 12 - is looking to put his injury troubles behind him and get his once-promising career back on track. With a couple serious knee injuries already part of his dossier, Pappoe is desperately in need of some consistent match time, a bit of luck, and some measure of success. His Chelsea contract, his first professional deal, expires at the end of this current season.
"We're getting the paperwork through and Daniel will be with us until January."
"He's a player I've seen when I've been on the circuit and he's a very assured centre-back who needs a breakthrough now. He gives us great strength, power and an opportunity to work the ball. He's young and he reminds me a bit of George Elokobi, when he first came to Colchester."
-Joe Dunne, Colchester United manager; source: Gazette
Pappoe was all set for Ghana's under-20 World Cup campaign this summer before swelling in the knee prevented him from training properly. Following on from the disappointment of losing the NextGen final, we can only hope that things get better for young Daniel from here.