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MEET THE OPPONENTS: Cambridge United

The Abbeymen go under the spotlight

4 September 2017

Cambridge United are next to be placed under scrutiny as we look at this season’s opponents.

Nicknames: United, The U’s, The Abbeymen

Club Colours: Amber & Black

Who are they?

Founded in 1912, Cambridge became a professional outfit in 1949 and played in the Southern Division until they were accepted into the Football League in 1970 at the expense of Bradford Park Avenue.

They slowly climbed through the divisions under the guidance of Ron Atkinson and reached their peak in 1980 when they reached eighth place in the Second Division. A slide down the tiers fol-lowed, with rare promotions, before the U’s fell into the Conference in 2005.

Ron Atkinson

Their stay in non-league lasted nine years, with Cambridge eventually earning promotion back to the Football League via the play-offs in 2014. They have been in League Two since.

Did You Know?

+ The club were originally known as Abbey United, before changing their name to Cambridge United upon turning professional in 1949.

+ In 1984/85 equalled the record for the most defeats in a season - 33 - which was then surpassed by Derby County in 2008.


+ Cambridge have experiment with shirts of full amber in the past, but have always reverted to the traditional black and amber designs.

How did they get on last season?

The U’s enjoyed another successful season in the fourth tier, and were well in the play-off picture until the final rounds of the season. Cambridge eventually finished in 11th place, only four points off the top seven.

Who’s in charge?

Shaun Derry has been the man in charge at The Abbey Stadium since 2015 after a successful play-ing career. Derry made over 550 appearances for the likes of QPR, Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

Shaun Derry

His first managerial job came at Notts County in 2013 where he teamed up with ex-United manager Greg Abbott to lead the Magpies to safety in League One. He left Meadow Lane in 2015 before taking over at Cambridge only eight months later.

How has their summer transfer business looked?

Two familiar faces have joined the U’s this summer, with Jabo Ibehre and David Amoo both moving to the Abbey Stadium. They have been joined by Emmanuel Osabede from Gillingham, midfielder Gary Deegan, stopper Dimi Mitov and lively striker Ade Adeez.

Jabo Ibehre

The experienced David Forde has joined having won this division with Portsmouth last season while Jevani Brown has made the step up from St. Neots Town.

James Dunne has departed for Swindon Town, while popular strikers Barry Corr and Joe Pigott were among those released.

They’ve Played For Both

United youth product Richard Prokas played briefly for Cambridge after his departure from Brunton Park. The midfielder made 204 appearances for Carlisle during his eight-year stay at the club, before signing for Cambridge upon his departure in 2001. Prokas played only 12 times for the U’s, scoring once.

Tom Cowan

Josh Gillies spent time on loan at Cambridge while he was with the Blues, while full-back Tom Cowan also played for the U’s for two years before his arrival in Cumbria. Cowan played 50 times during his spell at The Abbey Stadium, then going on to play 52 times for United while helping the side to promotion from the Conference.

Memorable Meeting - Carlisle 4-4 Cambridge (15 August 2015)

In a truly entertaining meeting at Brunton Park, Jabo Ibehre announced his arrival with a well-taken hat-trick. Barry Corr and George Taft put Cambridge in control before two goals from Ibehre in two minutes drew United level. Corr added his second of the afternoon to hand the U’s the lead again before Charlie Wyke equalised. Parity was short lived though, as Luke Berry put Cambridge back ahead. But Ibehre founded yet another leveller and sealed his hat-trick with just over ten minutes left to cap off an entertaining game.

Watch highlights from that game here:

When Did We Last Meet?

Our last meeting came on 11 March as a Medy Elito hat-trick handed the U’s victory at Brunton Park. The substitute winger netted three goals in 24 second half minutes to hand his side victory.

Earlier in the season, we drew 2-2 at the Abbey Stadium. Leon Legge put the U’s in front before Jason Kennedy levelled things up. Luke Berry’s penalty restored Cambridge’s advantage, only for Charlie Wyke to grab the Blues a point.

Watch highlights from that game here:

When Do We Meet Next?

We make the trip to the Abbey Stadium on 12 August before the U's visit Brunton Park on 24 March.

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