Flint chooses Swindon over U’s

SWINDON Town have beaten Colchester United to the signing of highly-rated non-league defender Aden Flint.

The U’s were the first club to have a bid for the 21-year-old centre-back accepted – believed to be �150,000 – from Blue Square North side Alfreton Town.

But after meeting Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling and manager John Ward on Wednesday, League One rivals Swindon Town made a late move.

And having visited the Wiltshire club yesterday, Flint informed the U’s via e-mail late last night that he would be signing for the Robins.

Swindon have an obvious link to the player as manager Danny Wilson’s son Laurie plays for high-flying Derbyshire side Alfreton.

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“It’s a shame because we were there first but other clubs have obviously been alerted,” said Ward, who has already signed two players from non-league with some success this season in the form of Andy Bond (Barrow) and Ben Coker (Bury Town).

“We’re disappointed because we think he’s going to be a good player, but we’ll move on now.

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“We’ll try and improve further, but I’m not going to make any knee-jerk signings.”

Colchester are currently short on centre-back options. Paul Reid was sold to Scunthorpe last week, while Magnus Okuonghae has received some bad news regarding the ankle injury which has kept him out since the end of November.

“He’s seen a specialist and it looks like he’ll be out for another four to six weeks,” said Ward.

“We probably could rush him back but that could provide him with quite a few problems later in life and neither he nor I want to be responsible for that.”

Colchester travel to second-place Huddersfield in League One tomorrow. For a full match preview see your weekend EADT.

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