COLCHESTER United are confident their new Weston Homes Community Stadium will be ready to stage competitive football for the first time when Town visit on Saturday, August 16.
But exactly what side manager Geraint Williams will be putting out remains a mystery.
The recent departure of skipper Karl Duguid, who had been at the club for 14 years, means 11 members of the squad relegated from the Championship last season have now left.
The highest-profile is former England striker Teddy Sheringham, who at 42, has retired. So too has former Bradford goalkeeper Aidan Davison.
Tom Devaux, Danny Granville, Luke Guttridge, Kevin Watson and Tom Webb were all released, loanees Adam Virgo and Bela Balogh returned to parent clubs Celtic and MTK Hungaria (Virgo has since joined Brighton) while Duguid’s fellow wideman, Kevin McLeod, has signed for League I rivals Brighton.
In addition another winger, Mark Yeates, is also reported to be unsettled, with a move to Crystal Palace stalling after a failed medical.
Williams has at least strengthened his defence, with the arrival of Matt Heath from Leeds and Matt Lockwood from Nottingham Forest, but he now needs to improve his options on both flanks.
A bid to bring in midfielder Danny Hollands from Bournemouth has fallen through.
Williams, meanwhile, will scour the loan market, explaining: “We’ll keep asking the questions of the big clubs and we’re always watching games. We will make the phone calls and try and bring players in.
“There might be one or two spaces left later on for loans because Premier League clubs generally prefer to make their decisions after the pre-season friendlies.”