Departed Colchester midfielder David Perkins has saluted U's manager John Ward for helping him earn his move to the npower Championship with Barnsley.
Perkins, 28, enjoyed mixed fortunes under four different managers at Colchester following his arrival from Rochdale in July 2008, but was a virtual ever-present in Ward's line-up before joining Barnsley for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday.
Perkins said: "Under John Ward last season, I did get a lot of games there and I'd like to thank him and Colchester United for playing their part in giving me this opportunity to play at the highest level of my career."
He added: "It was a good offer from Colchester United, but I knew other clubs were interested and the chance to play in the Championship was too good to pass up.
"With the gaffer bringing me back into the side last season, I've been able to prove myself and now move up a division.
"I can only thank him and the club again because it was looking like I might have to sign for a club in League Two, no disrespect to them, 12 months ago."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.