Brabin's men buoyant after U's Everton victory

PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:49 11 May 2010

LIFE is never dull at Cambridge United, and this summer has been no exception. Following the heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Exeter City in May, a number of last season s key players, including Mark Albrighton and Rob Wolleaston, were sold, along w

LIFE is never dull at Cambridge United, and this summer has been no exception.

Following the heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Exeter City in May, a number of last season's key players, including Mark Albrighton and Rob Wolleaston, were sold, along with Michael Morrison, who joined Leicester City for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

Worse was to follow for the United faithful when manager Jimmy Quinn left the club by "mutual consent", with the former Northern Ireland international's reluctance to move to the area cited as the main reason for his departure.

The U's board moved quickly to appoint a new management team, with Southport boss Gary Brabin taking over as manager, assisted by former U's loanee Paul Carden.

Carden was an influential figure during the second half of last season, and should provide some much-needed steel in the United midfield in the coming months.

Lee McEvilly and Courtney Pitt, both released by Quinn at the end of last term, are also back, while winger Andy Parkinson and left back Anthony Tonkin have joined from Notts County and Forest Green respectively.

Brabin favours a cultured passing game, and this has been evident in the first three pre-season friendlies.

Goals from Parkinson(2), ex-Buntingford Town youngster Robbie Willmott, and Mark Beesley, saw United pull off a surprise 4-2 win over Premiership giants Everton last Saturday.

This Saturday they entertain Coventry City in another friendly, before taking on a West Ham United XI on Tuesday evening.

The club's finances received a boost this week when ex-player Dave Kitson made a £5.5million move from Reading to Stoke.

United should have been entitled to 20 per cent of the fee, which could have been up to £1.1million.

However, it is thought the club's board "sold" their sell-on clause back to Reading for an up-front payment of about £350,000, which has angered many supporters.

It is unlikely that Brabin, who is still on the lookout for a goalkeeper, defender, and at least one striker, will see any of the money to boost his transfer kitty, as chairman Phil Law has stated that the cash will be used to finance "long term projects".

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