On-trial midfielder Lloyd James has signed a permanent contract with Colchester.

The former Southampton apprentice has been training with the Us since the start of pre-season and he played another 45 minutes in Wednesday's goalless draw at Lowestoft Town.

Manager John Ward is delighted to have secured the signing of James, while fellow trialist Ben Coker is expected to complete the paperwork on his new contract over the next two days.

Ward told the club's official website: "I'm really pleased that we have been able to bring Lloyd in. He has a good pedigree for a 22-year-old and has already made around 70 appearances for Southampton."

He added: "He has a great range of passing, being accurate with short and long passes with either foot, and has worked his way into the squad over the past three weeks.

"Having the right people here as well as them being good players is important to me and Lloyd has fitted in well with the squad socially and has earned their respect with his performance in training and the games."

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