By Tony Leighton
Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd will face former club Colchester United for the first time since his 2010 departure when the U's visit Sixfields for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round tie on Tuesday evening.
And the former Watford and Coventry City boss will be part of a master versus apprentice scenario as he stands in the opposite technical area to Colchester's rookie manager Joe Dunne, who was Ward's first-team coach during his time with the U's and who took over the Weston Homes Community Stadium hot seat two weeks ago.
Dunne, who had a short stint as caretaker manager just before Boothroyd's 2009 arrival at Colchester, has won two of his first three matches as the club's permanent boss and Boothroyd told football-league.co.uk: "Joe was always very ambitious and always wanted to have a go at being a manager.
"I kept saying to him, 'when the time's right,' and the time is right for him now. I know that [chairman] Robbie Cowling and the board think a lot of him and I'm sure they will give him the opportunity they give all their managers."
One opportunity that Boothroyd is hoping Dunne will not get is the chance to progress into the third round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy when the npower League 2 Cobblers entertain their League 1 opponents.
Both sides will head into the match on the back of a League defeat on Saturday, Colchester having lost 3-1 at Yeovil Town - their first reversal since Dunne took charge - and Northampton going down 3-1 at Bristol Rovers after having central defender Anthony Charles sent off midway through the first half.
The U's are 19th in the League 1 table and the Cobblers 15th in League 2, but divisional positions will mean nothing, says Boothroyd, as he looks to inspire his team to a Trophy victory that could kick-start a promotion push.
Since their 2009 relegation from League 1, Town have never threatened a top-six finish and Boothroyd, who just missed out on reaching the Play-Offs in his one full season at Colchester, said: "Northampton haven't had too much to shout about for a few years now and we want to change that.
"We want to give the fans something to shout about, and progressing towards Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is a chance to do just that. I wish all the very best to Joe and Colchester United in League 1 - but I want to see Northampton Town in the draw for the next round of the Trophy."
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