Coker joins Chelmsford on loan

COLCHESTER United have loaned summer signing Ben Coker to high-flying Blue Square South side Chelmsford City for a month.

The U’s signed the 21-year-old left-sided specialist from Suffolk non-league side Bury Town in the summer, but he suffered an ankle injury in training soon after penning a two-year deal.

Coker has since returned to fitness and, with reserve team games sparse for Colchester at present, Ward has decided it is best for him to get some match fitness at Melbourne Park.

He will join up with The Clarets – who are currently fifth in the second tier of non-league having lost in the play-off semi-finals last season – on Saturday for the start of a month long loan spell.

Colchester have asked that he does not play in the FA Cup during that period though, with Chelmsford set to host Bromley in the third qualifying round on October 9.

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The U’s will be without regular left-back Marc Tierney for Saturday’s League One trip to MK Dons after he injured his shoulder badly in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge.

However, U’s boss John Ward feels it would be too early to bring Coker into the first team, especially as he missed all of pre-season through injury.

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He said: “Ben’s a developing player and I think to come into our first team now would be a little bit too early.

“I think very highly of him though and I’m not sure he’ll actually end up playing at left-back. I think he’s a good footballer and may end up playing a step further up the pitch than that.”

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