Harry Pell will remind U’s fans of Greg Halford

Harry Pell, left, challenges Brennan Dickenson. Pell has this afternoon signed for the U's, from Che

Harry Pell, left, challenges Brennan Dickenson. Pell has this afternoon signed for the U's, from Cheltenham Town. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester Uni

Colchester United have announced their intentions for next season early on, by signing high-profile midfielder Harry Pell for a six-figure fee yesterday, just five days after the end of the current regular campaign.

Pell had been a target of the U’s for a while, and they have duly landed the 6ft 4ins man on a three-year contract from League Two rivals Cheltenham Town.

An imposing figure in central midfield, Pell will remind U’s fans of one of their former players, Greg Halford, a player of a similar stature and a star of the Championship era.

Halford, who is also 6ft 4ins, played in midfield for the U’s on occasions, although he was more at home at right-back, or as a front-man.

And just like Halford, the commanding Pell is a regular goalscorer. The 26-year-old bagged six goals in 42 outings for Cheltenham during 2017-18.

Pell said of his move to Colchester: “I’m really optimistic about the move and I am thankful for those who have brought me here. I can’t wait to get going.

“I first heard of the interest last year and, for whatever reason, it didn’t quite happen, but I’ve known for a few weeks now about Colchester being interested again.

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“I fully believe that this is the place for me to develop my career and I want to help move the team forward. I’m an Essex lad, so it’s like coming home really. The family are buzzing and will no doubt come to games and become Colchester fans,” added Pell.

Tilbury-born Pell has been well travelled during his career, having been on the books of Charlton as a youngster, before enjoying spells at Bristol Rovers (2010-11), Hereford United (2011-13), AFC Wimbledon (2013-15), Eastleigh (2015) and most recently Cheltenham.

He arrived at Whaddon Road with a bang, starring in the Robins’ National League title-winning season of 2015-16, when he was also named the National League’s team of the season.

Pell continued: “I will bring a bit of experience to the side, and I like to see myself as a box-to-box midfielder who can chip in with a goal. I want to be an organiser and I’m looking forward to meeting the lads and pushing forward.

“I had a good chat with the gaffer (John McGreal) and Tony Humes, and all they said was exactly what I wanted to hear.”

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