“Super” Kevin Lisbie has established himself as a real fans’ favourite at the Matchroom Stadium and is the O’s top scorer this season with 14 strikes to his name. However, in a much-travelled career, the former Jamaica international has formerly had two separate spells at Colchester, enjoying one season at the U’s old Layer Road ground before a year-long loan spell from Ipswich Town in the 2009-10 season at the new stadium.
Lisbie’s first season at the club saw him brought in as a replacement for the outgoing Chris Iwelumo and Jamie Cureton. However, despite impressing with 17 goals, he was unable to prevent the club’s relegation from the Championship.
His goals brought him a move to Ipswich in the summer of 2009 but after a season that saw him only find the net a handful of times, Lisbie returned to the club after just one season away for a loan spell that saw him again finish as the club’s top scorer, this time with 13 strikes as the U’s just missed out on a place in the play-offs.
The current O’s club captain had enjoyed a successful early career at Huddersfield, becoming vice-captain and even winning the club’s player of the year for the 2004-05 season.
However, following the arrival of Lee Clark as manager of the Yorkshire club, the central-defender found himself on the sidelines and after a prolonged spell out of the team, signed for Colchester in January 2011 on loan until the end of the season.
Clarke quickly established himself as an ever-present for the U’s, making 18 league appearances but like Lisbie in the season before him, just could not quite guide the club into the play-offs.
The 2011-12 season saw further loan spells at Oldham and Bury before the 29-year-old arrived in E10.
The veteran midfielder has emerged as key part of Russell Slade’s squad this season, using all his nous and experience to help pull the strings in the O’s midfield.
However, the former Ireland international may have Colchester to thank for rejuvenating a career that had looked in danger before the end of the 2011-12 season.
After failing to break into the Queens Park Rangers team following their promotion into the Premier League, Rowlands had an unsuccessful loan spell at Wycombe before being allowed to make the move to the U’s on a free transfer in February.
In nine appearances before the end of the campaign, Rowlands scored twice and contributed to a run that saw the U’s only lose four of their last 19 matches following his arrival.
Upon leaving Southampton where he had learned his trade alongside the likes of Gareth Bale, James enjoyed two productive seasons at Colchester, making 59 appearances and scoring three goals in all competitions before falling out of favour at the Community Stadium, a fact that resulted in a month-long loan spell at Crawley Town 12 months ago.
Following his release from the Essex club last summer James was snapped up by Russell Slade and has been another handy cog in the orient midfield.
After a slow start to the season David Mooney has more than stepped up to the plate, scoring 13 goals as Slade’s men have embarked on their late push for the play-offs.
However, it was the Irishman’s form in a year-long loan spell at Colchester during the 2010-11 season that arguably showcased his ability to the O’s.
Having found the net 14 times for the U’s that season, Orient wasted no time in quickly snapping him up on a free transfer in 2011 upon the expiration of his contract at parent club Reading.
Indeed, after scoring at home to Bury in the O’s last fixture, Mooney will travel to his former club full of confidence.