Four young Colchester United players have signed their first development contracts
Callum Coulter, Al-Amin Kazeem, Diogo Freitas Gouveia and Jake Hutchinson all put pen to paper recently, extending their time at the U's.
They have spent the past two years as full time apprentices as part of the Youth Team, but have played with the U23s and have also experienced men's football elsewhere to further their football development.
All four have spent time at Maldon & Tiptree, with Kazeem getting the chance to test himself against league opposition in the FA Cup.
He was involved in both the matches against Leyton Orient and Newport County, as the local non-league side provided the headlines in the early rounds of the competition.
Along with spending time at Maldon, goalkeeper Callum Coulter has had spells at Brantham and Bowes & Pitsea, as well as being involved with the first team squad on occasions during the 2019/20 season.
Jake Hutchinson has also had a taste of being in and around the first team squad, as well as spending tme at Hitchin, Maldon and Brightlingsea Regent.
The fourth player signing his development contract was Diogo Freitas Gouveia, who like Jake, has spent time away from the U's at Maldon, Hitchin and Brightlingsea.
Director of Football Tony Humes said of the signings: "Congratulations to the four of them for the hard work and dedication they've shown - they all deserve the chance to show us they can make the next step."
"They will have to continue that hard work now amongst the U23s squad, and of course hopefully the first team group in time.
"They've shown that they have the qualities we're looking for, and the time they have all spent playing competitive football whilst away from us at other clubs has been really beneficial."