Nineteen-year-old defender Billy Cracknell has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the U's for his first professional contract.
After coming through the ranks at Florence Park, Billy made his first team debut with Colchester United last season, coming on as a second half substitute in the U's home win against Carlisle United.
In addition to his professional debut for the club, Cracknell has also captained the U23 side on a number of occassions throughout their Professional Development League season, as well as playing for Maldon and Tiptree in their FA Cup exploits over the past two seasons.
Speaking after signing for the U's, Billy said it was a proud moment for him as he looks to get more first team appearances in the upcoming 2021/22 season.
"I'm absolutely delighted, it's a dream come true really. I'm just looking forward to the season to get started now.
"It was another dream come true to make my debut, and I'm hoping to kick on next season and be in and around the first team."