Colchester United's Academy welcomed its latest group of footballers to the club on Saturday afternoon, ahead of the first team game against Oldham Athletic.
The next squad of U9s players signed their first contracts with the club ahead of kick-off against the Latics, under the watchful eye of Head Coach John McGreal.
Sam Thompson, Academy Recruitment Manager, said: "As a club we’re delighted to be able to welcome 12 new faces to Colchester United, and wish them every success throughout their journey with us.
"A lot of the boys we've signed this season have been with us for nearly two years now, having started their journey with our Football in the Community Development Centres or our Elite Centres.
"This is particularly pleasing and highlights the strength of our pathway at Colchester United."
The U8s have had the opportunity to test themselves against the likes of Charlton, Aston Villa, Derby County, Fulham, Leicester City and Birmingham City this season and have a tour to the North West to play Everton and Manchester City at the end of this month.
And Sam added: "The boys loved the opportunity to see the stadium, do a lap of honour and to meet some of the players and the first team Head Coach. We would like to pass on our thanks to John McGreal for making this possible and giving up some of his time to welcome the boys to the club."