Date: 14th February 2013 at 3:33pm
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Joe Dunne has admitted that extending the loan spell of Billy Clifford until the end of the current campaign has been a big plus for the U’s.

The young midfielder joined for an initial month spell from Chelsea, before earlier this week he agreed to remain in north Essex to see out the end of this season, confessing his desire to help the U’s beat the drop.

Speaking to BBC Essex, Dunne suggested that the player has been a ‘real coup’ for the club.

‘It’s a big step forward for the club that Chelsea have allowed us to keep Billy here,’ he reflected.

‘He’s enjoying himself at the moment, his confidence is high and it is a really big plus for us. There was the possibility of him going elsewhere, but I’m glad he’s decided to stay.

‘He’s tenacious, has great technial ability, his heart is big and it’s a chance to get out and play which he has taken.’

Billy is just one of a number of young players to join the U’s for temporary spells from Premier League clubs this season, joining the likes of Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt and Sam Walker, amongst others.

The list was bolstered further this lunchtime with the arrival of Bradley Garmston on a month’s loan from West Bromwich Albion, and Dunne told BBC Essex that he was impressed with the Baggies’ requirements of the U’s.

‘The staff at West Brom are keen that he keeps developing and I’m really impressed with some of the arrangements we have to meet to get his services, which is a great credit to them.

‘We have to prove that we can keep developing him and providing him with the appropriate sessions, and I think that’s really good.’

Whether the youngster is given the nod to make his Football League debut at Bramall Lane this weekend remains to be seen, but the Irishman has the confidence of the U’s boss that he will be ready if needed.

‘I wouldn’t bring in anyone who wasn’t ready to go in,’ Dunne affirmed. ‘He’ll be ready, but it is another big step forhim.

‘We’ve seen him in all kinds of games but he’s athleti, quick, has the attitude to get up and down the pitch and we’re really pleased to have secured his services.’


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