Brian Wilson signs for Colchester

Colchester United manager John Ward has swooped to sign one of his former Cheltenham players – Brian Wilson – after the full-back was released by Bristol City.

COLCHESTER United’s transfer activity continues apace this afternoon with the news that versatile full-back Brian Wilson has joined the club on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old was released by Championship club Bristol City at the end of the season after making just four appearances in 2009/10 and has been snapped up by his former Cheltenham boss John Ward.

An attack-minded right-back/midfielder, Wilson appears to be a like-for-like replacement for Phil Ifil after he was released from his contract. He can, however, also play left-midfield.

Wilson came through the youth ranks at Manchester United before signing for Stoke City in 2001. There he made just two league starts before Ward signed him on loan for Cheltenham in 2003.

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Ward made the move permanent after an eight game spell and Wilson went on to become a key figure at Whaddon Road over the next three years.

After being part of two mid-table finishes in League Two, Wilson then helped Ward’s men achieve promotion via fifth place and the play-offs in 2006/7.

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In January of the following season, Ward sold Wilson to one of his former clubs – Bristol City – for �50,000. And in the second half of that campaign, Wilson went straight into the League One side as City finished second to achieve promotion.

The Manchester-born defender played 18 games in Championship the following season, playing in cup games against Manchester City and Middlesbrough, and made a further 20 Championship appearances the following campaign.

He found his chances limited at the Robins last season though and, after making just three league starts and one substitute appearance in the cup, was released by the club.

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